Ebonyi 2023: Group Flays Umahi For Incitement

Praises Ebonyi Founding Fathers For Ignoring The Governor's Undemocratic Charge

By Joy Ogali

Ebonyi First Vanguard, a foremost socio-political group which promotes the rights and dignity of the people of Ebonyi State, has frowned at what it described as the attempt by the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, to incite Ebonyi founding fathers against Ebonyi people over the 2023 governorship election. Ebonyi First Vanguard also commended Ebonyi founding fathers for standing for the truth and ignoring the governor's unconstitutional and undemocratic charge. The group equally called on Ebonyi voters to critically assess all the 2023 governorship candidates in Ebonyi State and vote for the most credible candidate no matter which side of Ebonyi State such credible candidate comes from. These were disclosed in a press statement signed by the Director-general of the group, Mr. Monday Eze, and made available to journalists in Abakaliki on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

The statement read in part: "Ebonyi First Vanguard has received news of a meeting held by the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, with Ebonyi founding fathers in Government House, Abakaliki on Friday 15th July, 2022.

"Ebonyi First Vanguard is shocked by the futile attempt of the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, to incite Ebonyi founding fathers against Ebonyi people by asking Ebonyi founding fathers to take up the job of marketing his adoptee APC 2023 gubernatorial candidate to based on an imaginary zoning arrangement. The vanguard is worried that Umahi who stopped the monthly allowances of founding fathers for the past 7 years and never consulted the revered elders before announcing the adoptee as "the next governor of Ebonyi State in a burial in Okposi will now want to recruit them against the constitutional rights of Ebonyi people!

"Ebonyi First Vanguard frowns at the attempt of the governor to arrogate the right to choose the next governor of Ebonyi State to himself and a selected group of Ebonyians as he suggested in his nebulous statement that “The founding fathers should up their game in the making of the next Governor of the state" which is tantamount to incitement. Ebonyi people are aware that the only power rotation or charter of equity agreement in the history of Ebonyi State was that of 9th January, 1996 which was drawn in a meeting that held in the Enugu residence of Sen. Chris Nwankwo and chaired by Ezeogo Dr. Agom Eze.

"Ebonyi people are reminded that after the fundamental violation of the January 1996 zoning arrangement in 1999 by the people of Ebonyi North in connivance with military men, all that Ebonyi has been witnessed in Ebonyi State was a violent tour of the governorship seat which at best amounted to mere accidents of history because each of the six gubernatorial elections in the history of Ebonyi State were contested by candidates from all the senatorial districts of Ebonyi State. Umahi is reminded that in 2015, Arch Edward Nkwegu of Ebonyi North and Sen. Julius Ucha of Ebonyi Central among others contested Ebonyi governorship election with him. Which equity or power rotation arrangement is the governor talking of. Accidents of history are different from and cannot be taken for charter of equity. When the governor called on the founding fathers "to begin to draw the charter of equity now" it was obvious what he was referring to as charter of equity was his desire to reward Ebonyi speaker with the Ebonyi 2023 governorship position for approving unrestrained access to Ebonyi treasury for the governor", the group said.

Concluding, Ebonyi First Vanguard challenged the governor and anybody who claims that a power rotation agreement or charter of equity exists in Ebonyi State to a public debate and advised Governor Umahi to respect Ebonyi founding fathers; pay the elders the arrears of their accumulated allowances which he stopped for more than 7 years now; and face the job of marketing his private gubernatorial candidate whom he unilaterally adopted.

Faced with the political challenge of marketing his APC candidate, Governor Umahi met with Ebonyi founding fathers, a group of Ebonyi elders whom he vowed never to have any dealings with immediately after his inauguration in 2015. The governor went ahead to create a pseudo group he called Ebonyi Elders Council as a substitute to Ebonyi founding fathers forum. His meeting with Ebonyi founding fathers on Saturday was a panic sign which proves that all may not be well with Umahi's desire to have his protege succeed him. In their response to Governor Umahi, the founding fathers ignored the unconstitutional request of the governor.