Youths from Ebonyi state have urged Nigerians to hold Governor David Umahi responsible should anything untoward happen to Hon. Linus Okorie, who was allegedly abducted last Sunday by agents of the state government.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Monday, Moses Idika who led other Ebonyi state youths to the media meeting said Governor Umahi is becoming a danger to democracy given his rascality and abuse of the rule of law.
According to him, Gov. Umahi abhors every reasonable democratic conduct in his intolerance for the rights of the people to free expression and to hold an opinion.
Idika said, “Umahi has elevated human rights abuses and denigration of the Nigerian Constitution to an act of state policy. Ebonyi is now a pariah state”.
Addressing the press, Idika who itemized the undemocratic conduct of the governor said: “Gentlemen of the Press, we have called you today to alert Nigerians on the dangers the Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. David Umahi is currently posing to Nigeria’s democracy.
“Since Mr. Umahi assumed office on May 29, 2015, as the third elected governor of Ebonyi State, he has consistently been on a mission to sink the rule of law in the southeast state.
“Let us quickly enumerate a few of Mr. Umahi’s affronts on residents of Ebonyi State who dared to speak up against the evil and tyrannical government of Ebonyi State as firmly superintended by Mr, David Umahi.
“On June 2017, Mr. Charles Otu, then a correspondent of The Guardian Newspaper and publisher of a local tabloid, The Conscience newspaper, was brutally abducted and tortured to the point of death at the Ebonyi State Government House, Abakaliki. It took the intervention of the operatives of the Nigeria Police to retrieve the abducted reporter who was then rushed to the hospital. Mr. Otu’s only sin was that “he was too critical of the government of Mr. Umahi,” Otu still carries both the mental and physical scars of that encounter.
“On April, 2020 Umahi once again bared his fangs when on a live TV broadcast, he announced the banishment of Chijioke Agwu and Peter Okutu, the Ebonyi State correspondents of The Sun and Vanguard newspapers respectively. Aside this, it was on this occasion that Umahi made his infamous “koboko” threat against the Nigerian media.
“In December 2020 when Mr. David Umahi defected from his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi suddenly became a killing field as anyone who publicly identified with PDP was roundly assaulted, molested and in some cases unfortunately killed.
“Just two weeks ago, a viral video showed where Governor David Umahi in the full complement of his office stood by while commandeering and supervising security operatives attached to him flog Ebonyi State civil servants in broad daylight. The government spokesman and Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji even confirmed the flogging incident but described the victims as miscreants who wanted to embarrass the Governor. This has been the lot of civil servants working around governor Umahi!
“On September 17, 2022, Nigerians who converged on Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital for a rally in support of the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi were brutally assaulted, tear-gassed and arrested by security operatives on the orders of Governor David Umahi. It took the outcry of Nigerians in social media and the intervention of the police high command for the arrested and assaulted to be released and the rally subsequently went ahead to the shame of the baby Hitler of Ebonyi State.
“Just two weeks ago, Governor David Umahi through his surrogate Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Mr. Chidiebere Uzor, to the surprise and pain of the public, took all laws into his hands and announced the ban on “all social gatherings,” including marriages, sports activities, burials, church programmes and any form of gathering. Citizens according to the local government chairman must obtain written permission from him before any such gathering takes place. It is to be noted that Onicha Local Government has been peaceful and there is no war in Ebonyi State.
“It is on record that since December 2021, five engineers from NELAN Consultants, Enugu who were working on an AfDB-funded “Ebonyi Ring Road” project, have been missing and have not been seen either dead or alive till date. The traumatized families of the missing engineers have been trading blame with Governor David Umahi on the whereabouts of their loved ones.
“The whole world is already abreast with the Ebonyi State Government- sponsored manhunt for Mrs. Ann Agom-Eze, the rightful Senatorial candidate of the APC for Ebonyi South whom Governor David Umahi has declared war on for daring to challenge him in court for stealing her mandate through the connivance of corrupt party and INEC officials.
“Just yesterday, the Labour Party (LP) Senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South (Gov. Umahi’s main opponent) ahead of the 2023 general elections and a former ranking member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Linus Abba Okorie was brutally and violently ABDUCTED in broad daylight by a detachment of the Ebubeagu militia at Nnorom Street (close to the residence of the victim).
“Hon. Okorie since his abduction by agents of Ebonyi State Government has remained incommunicado, his phones switched off, his car cannot be found. The government through the Onicha LGA Chairman, Chidiebere Uzor has confirmed the abduction and currently trying to frame him up as a drug peddler.
“We, therefore, on behalf of WORRIED CITIZENS of Nigeria demand as follows: That security agencies in Ebonyi State ensure that nothing untoward happens Hon. Linus Abba Okorie.
“That President Muhammadu Buhari in line with the resolution of the National Security Council resolution of Friday, October 14, 2022, (Which Mr. President convened and chaired) enjoined all Nigerian politicians to go about electioneering activities ahead of the 2023 general elections within the laws of the land, call Governor David Umahi to order to forestall the breakdown of law and order in Ebonyi State.
“That as an effective deterrent, in line with the constitutional powers of Mr. President as enshrined in Section 305, (1), (2), (3, b, c, d, and f) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), President Muhammadu Buhari should without delay DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY in Ebonyi State as Governor David Umahi has sufficiently proven his capability and determination to sink democracy and rule of law in Nigeria.”