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Politics: The crisis of 2023 in Ebonyi State

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In 2023, three years from now, the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be conducting another general election. The time is still far. Its Hours, minutes, seconds and nano-seconds are uncountable but the heat is full blown in Ebonyi State, Southeast, Nigeria. The perilous times of Ebonyi citizens have begun going by the crisis which is in its full gear among the political gladiators.

Ebonyi State, traditionally is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State and like other States in the region, majority of elected political leaders are members of PDP. But the defection of Ebonyi State governor, Mr. David Nweze Umahi who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party after barely six years manifests gross political insensitivity to his people in the State and the Southeast region in general. Every citizen has right to freedom of association, one may say. Fine! Is the All Progressives Congress Party (APC) which came into being in 2015 a political party to associate with? What are those policies that edge APC ahead of PDP? APC is anti-human, their policies are anachronistic, while their conducts are sure way to doomsday.

Truly, David Umahi, a cantankerous element is waging war against his own people; against those who elected him for two times as governor of Ebonyi State. Like Umahi and most other governors, it seems the oath of office they took to protect citizens is a satanic baptism to destroy their citizens. When he defected to the All Progressives Congress, it was in the public glare that the three Senators and six members of the House of Representatives from Ebonyi State didn’t join him, and neither did he receive their blessings. Unfortunately, he has resorted to blackmail and intimidation.

According to Ogba, “the governor in a national media briefing held in the Executive Council Chambers in Abakaliki on Friday the 27th of November, 2020, made very damaging and unfounded report against him and other very respectable politicians”. He accused the lawmaker of breeding cultists. He further averred that Obinna and others were engaging IPOB members to begin killings and instigating crises in the State, but without providing evidence, not even the circumstantial evidence.

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It is absolutely clear that Governor Umahi is accusing the individuals he mentioned in the cause of his apparently delusional broadcast of conspiracy to murder.

As we speak, assets of politicians who declined joining him to the APC tent are marked for demolition. These are business concerns of politicians where citizens from the State are feeding their families from. Closing down those businesses in vendetta has dire consequences on those feeding from there.

On Thursday, Senator Obinna Ogba at a press conference in Abuja revealed that his life and that of his family has been threatened by the governor and his younger brother, Austin Umahi. According to him, he has text messages and telephone conversation of the threats. What a country! What a kind of politics, Nigerians play!

One should get worried with the situation Senator Ogba found himself given the fact that there were several politically motivated assassinations unaccounted since the advent of democracy in 1999. For such threat to come from the Chief Security Officer of a State is inherently dangerous.

Recently, the governor ordered the closure of Kingdom Model Secondary School, a private School that existed for sixteen years even when the school is in session without considering the plight of the students in the guise of cultism in the school.

The School owned by the past Chairman of Ezza South Local Government Council, Barr. Friday Agbom, who is also a Legislative Aide to Senator Ogba is a way at getting back to his perceived political foes. A proverbial case of giving a dog a bad name in other to hang it!

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What then is the very essence of governance in governor Umahi’s imagination given that his inordinate ambition has driven the innocent and harmless students of the School idle.

Every citizen has rights to nurse ambition and within that context, if the governor chooses to nurse ambition for any political office in 2023, he should do that within the ambit of laws and without causing crisis in a State he met in 2015 in peace. If Ebonyi cannot get good governance from Umahi’s administration as it were, they should have peace, a gift of God.

In politics, there are variables that plays out for or against anyone which one could not tell with precise what the future holds. Whatever the probability that the newly found APC would be better than PDP?

At this point, the onus of investigation rests on Security agencies, particularly the State Security Service to unravel the circumstances behind the accusation and counter accusations between the feuding politicians.

Obinna raised serious issues that must.not be.swept under the carpet saying:

When Umahi states that “…the reason is that every governor in this State has been fought by the same set of people…” he betrays the paranoia, fear and the persecution complex that have infected his soul and sensibility and brought about a degree of derangement into his mind ever since he stepped into the office of the Governor. Umahi has solely brought a fight upon himself and his soul is under torture because he suddenly has realized that he made the biggest political miscalculations in his life and no one is helping him in his lonely megalomaniac journey of self-destruct.

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“When Umahi goes on to state that “If they try to fight the State, this will be their last fight. They will not fight again…” he is making a direct and open threat against my life and the lives of other law abiding citizens of Ebonyi State.

“The record of Umahi’s history of violence and threats of violence abound in the public domain.

“Recall that the governor and his brother Austin Umahi sent me threat messages on the 14th of January and 16th of August respectively, warning me to watch my back, later the governor called me that he would demolish my hotel at Dr. Offia Nwali Street, Abakaliki. Therefore, when a man with such a history, combined with his insatiable greed to cling unto power makes these sorts of dangerous and thoughtless utterances, then he must be taken seriously.

“It is important to state here that should anything happen to me or any member of my family, governor Umahi should be held responsible. Umahi should note that the gentility of the tiger does not mean weakness.”

Though, he swiftly responded to the claims by Senator Obinna Ogba through his Commissioner for Information and.State Orientation, Barr Orji Uchenna Orji dismissing the allegations, he hasn’t told the world the offences of all the big time politicians he was fighting.

Stricto senso, the governor should reflect on how he climbed the coveted seat and work for the people rather than fighting them. The mandate of the 2015 is still running and he should use the mande to the advantage of the people.

Samson Atekojo Usman, a journalist writes from Abuja

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