Posted by Charles Onyekwere, Enugu | 5 September 2017 | 2,215 times
Over 10,000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State on Monday took to the streets of Abakaliki and its environs against what they described as "lopsided appointments by the Federal Government."
The protesters pointed out that the exclusion of the people of the Southeast zone in the recent shakeups in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) was against national unity, while they also condemned the approval of millions of US dollars loans for some state governments in the Southeast.
The APC faction, suspected to be loyal to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, also queried the rationale of the Buhari-led Federal Government to approve the $150 million loan request for the construction of the ring roads in Ebonyi State.
The state factional chairman of APC, Nwachukwu Eze directed his members to come out enmass to protest over the construction of the road.
In his reaction, Chief Ben Nwobasi, Chairman of the other faction of the party, dismissed the protest as unguided and called on all members of the party in the state to disregard the announcement as the party was completely in support of the loan which the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council approved for the development of the state.
“We are against the protest. We have told our members to disregard Nwachukwu and his group. They are not speaking for APC. What we want is development and that is why the President is not resting on his oars to ensure that he delivers on his promises. Anybody who is attacking the President for aiding development in Ebonyi State is anti-people. We must not strangulate the progress and development of our state because we are in opposition in the state. The President has emphasised that he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody”.
“The loan has been approved by the National Assembly that has the largest number of APC members. The same loan was deliberated at the Federal Executive Council and approved. Then, whose interest is Nwachukwu serving? We must unite for the development of our state and country. APC in Ebonyi State is solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari and we want him to continue to support our measure for the development of the state,” Nwobasi said.
Nwobasi noted that APC was in support of any programme that would lead to the development of the state, stressing that the ring road would boost the economic fortunes of the state and alleviate the sufferings of the people.
He thanked God for the return of the President from his medical trip in London and urged Nigerians to continue to pray for peace and unity of the country.
In his reaction, Governor David Umahi warned the factions of APC against further breakdown of law and order in the state through their rallies and counter rallies.
The Governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, noted that in as much as the state government was not oblivious of the fact that opposition was a veritable ingredient of democracy, all political actors in the APC should imbibe the rule of the game by conducting themselves in a manner that would not pose security threats to the residents of the state.
He said: “The Governor condemns seriously the activities of the two factions of APC and advice them to put their house in order as the state government will not fold its hands to allow few political hawks drag the state back.”
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