Posted by News Express | 6 May 2013 | 4,676 times
A youth group drawn from the different segments and professional affiliations by the name Anambra State Youth Movement (AYM) has criticised Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), for allegedly using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ‘witch hunt’ oil magnet and politician, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah.
The group alleged that the nation’s chief law officer is embarking on a campaign of double jeopardy against Ubah because of Adoke’s alleged closeness to another Anambra governorship aspirant and a serving Senator – Andy Uba.
AYM also faulted the recent ‘harassment’ of Ubah by the EFCC over the alleged theft of oil subsidy funds when the matter is subjudice and the police had already allegedly cleared Ubah over the issue. It asserted that last week’s invitation and interrogation of Ubah by the EFCC was a subterfuge to politically ‘de-market’ him before the electorate in Anambra State as the governorship poll draws near. Ubah aspires to rule Anambra but it is not yet clear on what political platform he would run in the governorship ballot expected to hold later this year.
The AYM spoke through its president of Anambra state youth movement, Prince Alfred Okoye, when a delegation of the movement visited the national secretariat of the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) in Abuja over the weekend.
The group equally faulted Governor Peter Obi’s purported directive to Anambra traditional rulers to always obtain permission before traveling out of the state. It
described the alleged directive as illegal, unconstitutional and a brazen attempt to curtail the enjoyment by the natural rulers of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of expression. AYM therefore charged Governor Obi to either withdraw the travel warning/embargo or face mass action by the organisation in partnership with human rights groups in the country.
The directive was reported to have been issued in the wake of a trip to Lagos by the royal fathers to attend the wedding ceremony of the sister of Chief Ifeanyi Ubah. Governor Obi was quoted as saying that he was not against traditional rulers attending social functions, but that they should always try to inform him or the Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Matters whenever they are travelling out of the state.
The governor was quoted as saying: “Today I cannot travel out of Nigeria without informing the President. If anything happens to me, the President should know my whereabouts. Likewise, it is not good for you to travel out of the state without informing me. In spite of their stature and prominence, traditional rulers such as Obi of Onitsha Igwe Alfred Achebe and the Igwe of Ikelionwu, Igwe Peter Ezenwa of Oba, Professor Chukwuemeka Ike still inform me whenever they travel out of the state. If anything, which we pray against, happens, they will ask me as the governor about you.”
But the AYM is not comfortable with this directive, alleging that it amounts to the a ‘witch hunt’ of the natural rulers and is remotely targeted at whittling down the influence and popularity of Ubah, the chairman of Capital Oil, ahead of the contest for Obi’s successor.
On why they chose to visit HURIWA, Prince Okoye said: “We have come in great number as a delegation of the Anambra State youth movement to visit the secretarial of the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) to interact extensively on ways to promote politics without bitterness in Anambra state and for the promotion and protection of the fundamental human rights of good people of Anambra State. We also want to use this opportunity to appeal to the electoral commission to be impartial, fair and patriotic in the coming election and for civil society community in Nigeria to preach for peaceful election and educate Anambra electorate on the essence of politics of ideas and development.”
Responding on behalf of HURIWA, the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged all political stakeholders in Anambra State to play politics of ideas and development and to truly work to transform the state of infrastructure and human capacity of the good people of Anambra State. He explained that HURIWA is made up of patriotic and non-partisan Nigerians and is therefore ready to vigorously campaign for peaceful and transparent governorship poll in Anambra State.
•Photo shows Ifeanyi Ubah.
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