Group accuses Umahi of using LGA funds to execute 2019 re-election

Posted by News Express | 2 January 2021 | 847 times

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•Governor Umahi

 

By CHARLES IWUOHA

A group that identified itself as Forum of Former Coordinators across the 64 development centres of Ebonyi State has accused Governor Dave Umahi of using local government funds to execute his 2019 re-election ambition.

It alleged that Council chairmen were made to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that allowed the 13 local government areas in the state to pull funds for the prosecution of the 2019 project, through the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala.

The leadership of the forum, in a communiqué on Thursday signed by the Chairman and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ukpai Okechukwu and Mr. Agu Chigozie respectively, noted that the Governor withheld their severance allowance after compelling them to take oath that granted his reelection in 2019, which they finally took.

It lamented in the statement made available to News Express in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State, that the governor deceived them by promising to offer them N5 million, Hyundai (SUV), parcel of land at Ochudo Centenary City and lock-up shops, if they ensured his re-election victory in the 2019 poll.

“Umahi promised to give us brand new Hyundai (SUVs) which we would take home as parting gifts having served in his government and for working hard to reelect him for the second term in office as governor.

“We were regularly taken to the Presidential lodge, old Government House, Abakaliki, and shown the Hyundai jeeps and reminded that our getting the jeeps were solely dependent on the 2019 election victory.”

They also alleged that the Governor forced them to take oath: “Umahi forced us to take oath as a precondition for offering us political appointment, the intention of which was to compel us to always follow his dictates and show unalloyed loyalty to him, and added that he would make us millionaires.

“In September 2017 also, we were again compelled to take oath in furtherance of our pledge to give unequivocal and unwavering loyalty to him.

“To our greatest chagrin and sadness, we were subjected to write application letters to the governor for reappointment into the same position we had used to return him (Umahi) for second term in office.

“It was in the course of interview that one  of us, late Mr. Sunday Igboke, the immediate past coordinator of Ngbo North DC, slumped and died in his presence, just as soon as the Governor told him that he would not be returned as Coordinator, considering the level of indebtedness that the Governor had made all of us to incur.

“It is heartbreaking to learn that the Governor has not deemed it necessary to visit and commiserate with the family of this fallen foot soldier, the late Sunday Igboke.”

The forum vowed to resist the governor from all attempt to destroy the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) adding that Umahi remained the highest beneficiary of the party in the country.

“We have seen that our governor, having benefitted so much from our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, now wants to destroy the party but we at the grassroots commanders, together with our teeming supporters, have resolved not allow that to happen,” the forum vowed.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze, could not respond to WhatsApp message put across to him.


Source: News Express

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