GTB 737 banner Yudala banner

Tears for Ebonyi State, By Nwaeze Onu

By News Express on 02/05/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 333

•Prince Nwaeze Onu
•Prince Nwaeze Onu

Power in the hands of a weak man is a dangerous thing. With power, he soon believes he is what he is not. In no time, the power becomes an instrument of oppression and self-aggrandisement; which turns him into a megalomaniac. This is tragic: not only for the man, but for the society at large. Such is the tragedy that has befallen Ebonyi State and under Engr David Nweze Umahi.

When he succeeded Chief Martin Elechi as governor of Ebony State in 2015, his only foray into public service was his one-term stint as deputy to Governor Elechi, between 2011 and 2015. In other words, he had no outstanding record or pedigree in public service. The people of Ebonyi State, however, had hoped that having a younger man after Chief Elechi was an advantage. Events since Umahi assumed office have proven them wrong. How mistaken they were. Before his election, Umahi was a weak and insecure man. And the people knew it not. As is the case with weak men, Umahi is overwhelmed by the power and authority attached to the office he currently occupies. The unmistakable signs of a power-drunk executive are manifesting rapidly, as Ebonyi State slides into chaos. Umahi has wielded state power as a cudgel over both the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and members of his ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who have fallen out of favour with him. His infantile desire to showcase his new-found power has led him to meddle in the affairs of organised Labour in the state, made destitute

of Ebonyi State scholarship students abroad, and obliterated the constitutionally-prescribed principle of  separation of powers between the three arms of government. In two years, Umahi has ditched due process and rule of law, and transformed from a governor to an emperor.

The governor has so emasculated the Ebonyi State House of Assembly that it has become a mere department in the Office of the Governor. As a policy of intimidation, he starves the House of funds and blackmails it into giving blanket approval to all his bills, especially the appropriation bills. The state’s N101.1 billion 2016 Appropriation Bill was passed in record time, with little or no deliberation. For 2017, it is N127.2 billion, and we expect more or less a rubber stamp approval by the House of Assembly. The House of Assembly has been forced to abdicate its constitutional duty as a check on executive power. Ebonyi State is poorer as a result. Under  Umahi, the drive to develop human capital and build capacity in the labour force has suffered a reversal. The policy of compulsory free primary and secondary education, which was introduced by Dr Sam Egwu and continued by Chief Elechi’s administrations seem to have been abandoned by Umahi. Tuition and other sundry fees have surreptitiously crept back into the school system, and parents are groaning under the impact. School enrolment is also beginning to suffer as a result. Most worrisome, however, is the plight of Ebonyi State students currently studying abroad under the state’s Scholarship Scheme for Higher Education. In the two years that Umahi has been governor, the state has failed to release money for the payment of bursary to the beneficiaries of its scholarship scheme who are studying in institutions of higher learning across the globe. Most of the students are now denied access to school hostels, libraries and classrooms while some have already been de-registered and are awaiting deportation by their host country. There are reports that some have taken to pet-crimes, to avoid starvation and sustain their studies. This dire situation was recently brought to the fore when about 120 Ebonyi State students recently demonstrated on the streets of Manchester City in the United Kingdom. They were protesting to register their frustration over the decision of the Government of Ebonyi State to abandon them, after sending them out to study in a foreign land. Some of the placards displayed by the students read: “Ebonyi students are homeless abroad”; “Ebonyi Government, your students are stranded in the Uk”; “Sponsored students are humans, Not rags”. The students were led by the President of Nigerian Students Society (NSS), Olalere Olaide, and marched from University of Salford to Media city and BBC in Manchester. It was an ugly spectacle. This is happening even as the governor is busy constructing a stadium of a house in his Uburu country home.

Governor Umahi has also succeeded in breaking the ranks of labour leaders in the state and created schism in the state chapter of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), over the newly-minted Contributory Pensions Law. Labour leaders, including Ikechukwu Nwafor of NLC, Michael Nwonu of Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Patrick Ekwe of JPSNC had rightly accused the state government of secretly deducting from workers salaries, before sending the Contributory Pensions Bill to the House of Assembly for consideration and passage into law. It is their contention that the bill was only rushed through the rubber stamp House to legitimise the illegal deductions from workers salaries. But now, Ugwuru Uchenna, a renegade labour leader and chairman of Junior Workers Association, Ebonyi State Chapter  stands with the government and daily rails against the aforementioned labour leaders and his superiors. Such is the disarray in the state chapter of the NLC that the Enugu State chapter is now the lone voice advocating for the welfare of workers in Ebonyi State.

The governor’s megalomania has now transcended beyond being meddlesome into illegality. His recent indefinite suspension of the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Augustine Nwankwuegu for negligence - and the instantaneous appointment of Mr Uwabunkonye Onwosi, to act in his place as attorney-general - was the height of illegality. He side-stepped the House of Assembly in the appointment process, in contravention of the Constitution, which subjects such appointment to confirmation by the house. This is besides the point that the Constitution, which Umahi swore to protect, has no provision for acting commissioner. In what can only be described as executive recklessness, citizens have had their properties demolished and their lands taken over by government, without due process, under questionable claims of acquisition for “overriding public interest.” Yet, two years into the life of the Umahi administration, there is no visible addition to state infrastructure other than the over priced and largely unnecessary three overhead bridges around the state capital.

As Governor Umahi charges around the Ebonyi like a bull in a China shop, it is pertinent to remind him that true power belongs to the people. The people of Ebonyi State and posterity will surely have the last laugh on this blip that his administration represents on the state’s march to greatness.

Prince Nwaeze Onu can be reached via nationalpathfindernewspaper@gmail.com

Source News Express

Posted 02/05/2017 9:33:44 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

 

You may also like...
Trump returns to New York, amid rumors of...

Boko Haram attacks Bara in Yobe

Lagos indigenes allege marginalisation, discrimination in Ambode’s appointments...

Lagos school kidnap: Police rescues 2 victims, hunts...

Allegations against Amaechi baseless and borne out of...

Buhari seeks more effective global coalition against terrorism...

Poor visibility likely today due to dust haze,...

FG has grounded the economy: MAN, others cry...

Ondo, Ekiti petrol dealers insist on selling above...

Yudala, a company to watch — Chris Uwaje...

Institutionalising transparency, good governance in running Kogi State,...

200 ex-militants graduate in automobile manufacturing, plastic design...

 

Latest News Nigeria, London and globalisation, By Emmanuel Onwubiko Northern Governors are lazy: Sultan of Sokoto Man goes on trial in America, slammed with 21-count charge over $4bn Bitcoin fraud NUPENG threatens strike over dispute with AMCON Osinbajo disappoints Rivers APC, commissions Wike’s projects Bill Gates regains title as world’s richest person 8 hours after losing it Aisha Buhari identifies obstacle to Vision 2030, SDGs Google to train 10 million Africans in online skills Court rules July 31 in case of lynched Aluu 4 UNIPORT students Senate halts planned concession of Port Harcourt Refinery Delta Govt. moves to tackle flood menace Echoes of Ezu River Police Massacre: How to end torture and extra-judicial killings in Nigeria (Part 3)

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (267,218 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (248,059 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (202,004 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (172,778 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (169,804 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (151,524 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (131,112 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (123,719 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (115,549 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (107,578 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (107,239 views) APC cries foul as PDP’s Fayose takes early lead in Ekiti governorship election (99,851 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (27) Business (2,640) Business Verdict (18) Columnists (717) Complaints & Requests (92) Enterprise & Opportunities (167) Entertainment (345) Features (473) Global Business Monitor (167) International (1,467) Interviews (126) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (64) News (26,877) Opinion (761) Pidgin (8) Politics (3,824) Religion (582) Sports (1,288) Stock Watch (20) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN words on marble advert

 

 

Senator Adeleke on the dancing steps in London

 

APO Newsbreak logo

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!