A former commissioner of Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Senator Emmanuel Onwe, said that Governor David Umahi’s statement that “I offered this movement (from PDP to APC) as a protest against the injustice being done to the southeast by PDP,” is without foundation.
Onwe, who represented Ebonyi Central Senatorial District in the 7th National Assembly remarked that although there are a number of perfect justifications that the governor could have advanced for his decampment from the PDP to the APC in pursuit of the presidency of Nigeria, “grounding his reason on the purported ‘injustice’ meted out to the Southeast by the PDP betrays a complete absence of conscience.”
While describing the claim as ludicrous, Onwe maintained that the allegation was fed by nothing but blind ambition, adding: “What is ‘unjust’ is to have systematically sabotaged the 2019 presidential campaign of the PDP in Ebonyi State at every turn, not to mention the financial and structural sponsorship of opposition candidates against PDP candidate in the National Assembly election.”
Onwe, who is a lawyer by profession, wondered whether the governor’s fables were intended to drag the Southeast to the lair of wolves. His words: “So much stall has been set by the word “loyalty” in the political circles of Ebonyi State in the past six years. Scores have been humiliated, punished, and pretty much destroyed for daring to conduct themselves in a manner remotely suspected to be disloyal.
“The point at which an act transcends disloyalty and becomes betrayal is exactly the point we are bearing witness today – PDP has every reason to feel not just the absence of loyalty but utter betrayal.
“In Igboland, individuals, organisations and institutions, including the PDP and the decamping governor; have previously articulated the catalog of discrimination and ignominy we have endured at the hands of the federal administration in the last six years.
“Igbo people have been crudely condemned as the “five percent” outcasts. The practical reality of this outcast status is manifest in the composition of the federal government today – a powerful demonstration of a redefined anti-Igbo federal character.”
The Senator disclosed that the “prescription of IPOB stands as the starkest example of the blatant inequity and destructive policy that the APC Federal Government is willing to levy on our innocent people and which these decamping governors fell over themselves to endorse, strengthen and make more wicked. Yet, we are to accept the fabulist tale that our salvation suddenly lies in the lair of wolves?”
Picking holes in Umahi’s claims against PDP, Onwe cataloged important positions and appointment enjoyed by Southeasterners under the PDP from 1999 to 2015, to include the following: Senate Presidency (Sen. Chuba Okadigbo; Sen. Evans Enwerem; Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim and Sen. Ken Nnamani), Deputy Senate President (Sen. Ike Ekweremadu), Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (Hon. Emeka Ihedioha).
Onwe recalled that Senator Anyim Pius Anyim became the Secretary to the Government of the Federation under a PDP federal administration, thus becoming the first in the history of the Southeast, while Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala became the Finance Minister & Coordinating Minister of the Federal Executive Council of the Government of the Federation under a PDP administration.
He added: “Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika was appointed the Chief of Army Staff under a PDP administration, the first in the history of the Southeast and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onovo appointed the Inspector General of Police under a PDP federal administration, the first of its kind in the history of the South East.
“Dr. Aruma Ote and Dr Ndidi Onyiuke were respectively appointed the DG of the Nigerian Stock exchange under a PDP federal administration, while a state burial was granted in honour of General Odumegwu Ojukwu by a PDP President, a gesture unimaginable under the configuration of the current federal administration and a ministerial appointment was granted to the son of late General Aguiyi Ironsi, unimaginable under the current federal administration.”
The Senator recalled that IPOB was neither proscribed nor its members slaughtered like wild animals on the streets of Igbo towns and cities under a PDP federal administration, stressing that the Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja trans-Saharan African highway was constructed to a quality standard by a PDP federal government.
While noting that the Federal University Ikwo was constructed, commissioned and commenced under a PDP federal administration, Onwe added that the Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, was designated under a PDP federal administration.
“Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State was designated under a PDP federal administration. Judges who hail from Ebonyi State were elevated to the Supreme Court of Nigeria for the first time in the history of the state under a PDP federal administration.
“Akanu Ibiam International Airport was so designated under a PDP federal administration. The PDP gifted Governor Umahi the opportunity to serve as its state chairman for four years, as a Deputy Governor for 4 years and now as a two-term Governor,” he narrated.
The Senator, who served on the Ebonyi State cabinet under Umahi’s first term, declared: “I could go on and on. Not a single one of these attainments have been replicated under the current APC federal administration, nor is it possible to envisage such replication.
“The singular challenge to the state PDP and to the reasonable people of Ebonyi State right now is to demonstrate that the picture that has been painted of them in recent years is a false one.
“That negative picture of a place lacking in men, a place subjugated to the autocratic whims of one man, the picture of a herd of sheep led to the slaughter – here in the moment and opportunity to take a stand and prove these to be falsehoods. There are men here. It is time to exorcise the cult of personality that has metastasized like cancer in our society.”
CREDIT : GUARDIAN NG.