The plan by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state to contest in the 2023 Presidential election has been rejected by the Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in the Diaspora.
Recall that Governor Umahi had on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa and thereafter announced his intention to succeed him.
AESID’s President, Paschal Oluchukwu, in a statement said it received with mixed feelings the news that the governor declared his intention to contest for presidency, saying he should give stewardship of his seven years in the state.
According to Oluchukwu, Nigeria won’t survive a week under the “dictatorship style of governor Umahi” as president.
He said, “How has he secured our tiny Ebonyi State with the consistent and reported attacks and communal clashes recorded under his administration, some of which are allegedly fuelled even by his political appointees.
“As we speak, thousands who were displaced by communal war in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state are yet to return to their ancestral homes, needless to speak of receiving any succour whatsoever from the Umahi administration.
“The thousands of victims who were also displaced in three communities in Ezza North LGA where he is lavishing public funds in building an international cargo airport remain displaced as they are yet to be duly compensated by the Umahi administration. Hunger and poverty have been weaponised by his government such that all might come to beg for crumbs on his table.
“Any wonder Ebonyi is now officially rated the poverty capital of entire Southern Nigeria by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“With the way and manner he has handled the state’s House of Assembly which is ordinarily a separate arm of government, are we not certain that a National Assembly under an Umahi presidency would be worse than the current rubber-stamp legislative arm that we have in Nigeria? Will Nigeria truly survive just a one-week reign of a dictator like Umahi?
“AESID would wish to ask; which impact and mark has Governor Umahi made in Ebonyi’s critical sectors such as education- given we are classified as educationally-less-developed, health-given our poor maternal mortality rate and agriculture-given our rich potentials in this sector? What about the state’s civil service he has left in its shadows, including lecturers in our State-owned tertiary institutions whose salaries he has withheld and pays any pittance he feels like? Is it the retirees some of whom have died in their pains and agonies over non-payment of their due entitlements or their sorrowing relatives that would drum support for Umahi’s touted 2023 presidential ambition?
“Mysterious deaths such as the sudden ‘disappearance’ of some five NELAN contractors sometime in November last year among other cases of suspicious demises all points to the alleged diabolic and wicked extent the government has gone in its dealings with the now beleaguered Ebonyi masses.
“Rather than provide jobs for our teeming populace, what the Umahi government specialises on is to appoint, through proxies, our vibrant youths who daily sing its praises on the social media for some pittance.
“For this noble accountability platform in particular, therefore, we believe it is time for him to be held to account for the little opportunity he has had in just one, out of a total of the 36 states of the federation that he now aspires to pilot their affairs.”