UNFORTUNATE AND DELUSIONAL ACCUSATIONS BY GOVERNOR DAVE UMAHI: MY RESPONSE:
In a national media briefing held in the Executive Council Chambers in Abakaliki on Friday the 27th of November, 2020, the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, made very damaging and unfounded report against my person and 3 other very eminent and highly revered persons from Ebonyi State.
Ordinarily, I could have treated that media briefing as mere gibberish but coming from the mouth of a sitting governor, it becomes very necessary to give it the needed attention in order to invite full scrutiny of the dangerous recklessness inherent in the utterances of a Chief Security Officer of a State. This press briefing may be termed late given the Governor’s pseudo apology, but the closure of KINGDOM MODEL SECONDARY SCHOOL, by the government (a private school established since 2004) owned by the immediate past PDP Chairman of Ezza South L.G.A, Barr. Friday Agbom (who is also my Legislative Aide) 24 hours after that apology on a flimsy excuse that he organizes cult activities there further triggered me to make this press briefing.
It is very unfortunate that innocent and harmless students of the above named school have been forced to taste the bitter pills of Umahi’s maladministration, not minding the fact that the students just came back from a long COVID-19 induced break and have no business with political intrigues in Ebonyi State.
Given the weight of the allegations, I feel obliged to respond in the following terms:
1. It is absolutely clear that Governor Umahi is accusing the individuals he mentioned in the cause of his apparently delusional broadcast of conspiracy to murder. Specifically, when Umahi accused me and 3 others of “…engaging cultists and, according to him, some IPOB members to start killings and instigating crises in Ebonyi State…” he thus brings the matter into the central realm of criminal law. Whether he is ignorant of the crime of joint enterprise to commit an unlawful or harmful act or not, Umahi must put forward the compelling evidence at his disposal that led him to lay such grievous allegations against innocent citizens who were his conveyor belts to his present status as a 2 term Executive Governor of Ebonyi State.
2. Speaking for myself and by way of rebuttal, I wish to state categorically that I have never harboured, recruited, induced or engaged cultists for any purpose whether political or otherwise, in all my personal and public life.
3. Umahi goes further to state: “This is alleged information I got and I needed to share this information with the security agencies….” This statement represents a clear and unambiguous defamation consciously deployed to assassinate the characters of honourable and law abiding leaders of our great state without justification. One of the qualities of a sound leader is being able to guard what he says at all times. His utterances cast huge aspersions on his being referred to as His Excellency.
4. When Umahi states that “…the reason is that every governor in this State has been fought by the same set of people…” he betrays the paranoia, fear and the persecution complex that have infected his soul and sensibility and brought about a degree of derangement into his mind ever since he stepped into the office of the Governor. Umahi has solely brought a fight upon himself and his soul is under torture because he suddenly has realized that he made the biggest political miscalculations in his life and no one is helping him in his lonely megalomaniac journey of self-destruct.
5. When Umahi goes on to state that “If they try to fight the State, this will be their last fight. They will not fight again…” he is making a direct and open threat against my life and the lives of other law abiding citizens of Ebonyi State. The record of Umahi’s history of violence and threats of violence abound in the public domain. Recall that the governor and his brother Austin Umahi sent me threat messages on the 14th of January and 16th of August respectively, warning me to watch my back, later the governor called me the he would demolish my hotel at Dr. Offia Nwali Street, Abakaliki. Therefore, when a man with such a history, combined with his insatiable greed to cling unto power makes these sorts of dangerous and thoughtless utterances, then he must be taken seriously. It is important to state here that should anything happen to me or any member of my family, governor Umahi should be held responsible. Umahi should note that the gentility of the tiger does not mean weakness.
6. The office of Governor has always appeared too large for Umahi. He has always appeared too egocentric, ill-prepared, under confident, timid and yet boastful for that office. As he is lashing out at those far superior to his disgruntled self, we must urge the security agencies to keep a watchful eye on him. He portends clear and present danger to Ebonyi State and the political class.
7. Governor Umahi should note that nobody is interested in truncating his inordinate ambition to aspire to the exalted position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he should therefore stop panicking and channel all his energy towards completing his tenure successfully. He should ease the plight of the good people of Ebonyi State who he impoverished for some years now due to his maladministration. He should not forget that by this time come 2023 he will cease to be a Governor. What happens after being in power is much more important than what happens while in power.
8. While Umahi is making every effort to make every other Leader in Ebonyi to look bad before the world, some of us that are conversant with his usual poor political antics are not surprised because his perfect definition and description is me, myself and I.
9. A man who has turned Government and governance into a joke and comedy of forced and forged Communiqué should not be taken seriously. A man whose only dream for our youths is to make them TAs, STAs and arm them with matchet is dangerous. A man who destroyed our University and proscribed ASUU in the State toys with the future of Ebonyi youths.
10. His Slogan is “I made every successful Politician in Ebonyi”. In as much as I may not like to join those that said he is suffering from whimsical amnesia, his utterances and behaviour gives credence to that assertion. How can Umahi say that he made every successful politician in the State when in 2007 gubernatorial election, he was desperate to be my running mate.
11. Perhaps Governor Umahi has forgotten the pedigree of Ebonyi illustrious sons whom he has tried in vain to denigrate and I wish to at this juncture remind him just in case he has forgotten as usual that His Excellency Senator Anyim Pius Anyim has held highly exalted positions of President of the Senate and Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria. HE Sam Egwu was Executive Governor of Ebonyi State for 8 years, 2 term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the former Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My humble self was a Local Government Chairman in 1997 under GDM, former SA and Commissioner under Governor Sam Egwu, former PDP State Chairman Ebonyi State for 7 years, former Chairman of various Federal Government Boards, former 1st Vice President Nigerian Football Federation, current Chairman Nigerian Professional League, Member CAF Beach Soccer Committee, Member ECOWAS Parliament, Governorship Aspirant 2007 and at which point he was desperately begging to deputize me, two term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and currently Senate Committee Chairman on Youth & Sports Development and finally Chief Ali Odefa former South East Publicity Secretary of PDP and former SSA to Governor Umahi.
My Joy is that his stay in Ebonyi Government house is tenured and not everlasting or eternal. I urge him to do introspection and if he has forgotten do a recall of the political profiles of 4 Ebonyi sons he has tried in vain to diminish including my humble self which I have outlined in the last paragraph. I call this Nshiko mentality or Pull Him Down (Phd) Syndrome.
Governor Umahi should remember that the position he is occupying today was occupied by somebody yesterday and will be occupied by another tomorrow. He should stop being boastful and playing god because shadow disappears when darkness comes.
I wish him well in his failed future political endeavour.
PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT: SENATE PRESS CENTER, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
DISTINGUISHED SEN OBINNNA J. OGBA.
Senator Representing Ebonyi Central Senatorial zone. Member ECOWAS Parliament.