A NGO Exposes The Atrocities Of Governor David Umahi’s Administration In Ebonyi State

at 11:32 AM, 21 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(11816 | Hero) (m)

A non-governmental organisation known as Advocacy for Good Governance – an elite forum of professionals knowledgeable in governance and democracy – held a press conference in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital to address some challenges facing democracy and governance in Ebonyi State, and to expose activities of the present government in Ebonyi which they termed ‘fraudulent’.

The group indicted the government in critical areas of infrastructure, health, water, economy, education and ‘Umahicracy’— what they described as a system of government in Ebonyi State that has enthroned only the Governor’s brothers into power.

On Infrastructure, the group highlighted that shortly after the inauguration of Governor David Umahi on May 29th 2015, he got the approval of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly for the sum of about N12.5Bn for rebuilding urban roads in the State. The House also approved N600m for the Governor to renovate the Governor’s lodge, as well as borrow N400m from a commercial bank in Abakaliki for the same lodge. While the Governor’s lodge was being renovated, the Governor reportedly also got approval to borrow N1.2Bn for the construction of a new Government House at the Ochudo City. Yet, only a few urban roads were re-coated and so far rural roads have been left unattended to.

Still on infrastructure, the group highlighted the fact that the administration is building three flyovers within a 5Km road at the cost of over N15B per flyover – a total sum of over N45Bn for the three flyovers. They stated that the state didn’t need the flyovers and even if it does, the location of the flyovers worries everyone. They also stated that the actual bidding process and the true identities of the contractors handling the projects remain largely unknown. They called on the state government to release information ‘on who is doing what in the flyovers and their actual cost’.

They pointed out that the immediate past administration in the state under Chief Martin Elechi built a gigantic water scheme called the Oferekpe Water Scheme and the contractor, Gilmor Construction Company Ltd was in the last phase of water reticulation and supplying water to the state when Governor Umahi was elected, but the Governor abandoned the project, which was initiated when he was the Deputy Governor, and preferred to build water fountains in three roundabouts in the city centre – these fountains, they said,  he builds, destroys and rebuilds almost every month. They accused the Governor of abandoning the thirteen General Hospitals in the state and discontinuing the liaison the past administration had formed with mission hospitals in the State whereby these mission hospitals were given subventions to subsidise medical services in the State.

On education, the group pointed out that since 2015, no new school had been built or renovated in the state and that the entire bidding process for the state’s UBEB scheme projects is shrouded in secrecy. They said: ‘It is disheartening that the David Umahi led administration inherited over one hundred Ebonyi scholars pursuing various degrees in foreign universities. But the government abandoned them to their fate.  Some of these students are still stranded abroad, while many had to return home. It would be recalled that some time ago, these Ebonyians in the UK led a protest to the BBC London office to highlight the insensitivity of the state government to their plight. The subvention normally paid to EBSU and other state-owned higher institutions was stopped by the David Umahi administration, thereby forcing some lecturers to abandon their jobs to where the pasture is greener. As we speak, there’s fear that many departments in EBSU stand the high risk of losing accreditation if the Nigerian Universities Commission comes visiting’.

On Agriculture, the group alleged that in 2016, the governor defrauded farmers in the state by signing agreement with them in what he called “One-Man One-Hectare’ project. The farmers were to receive N30, 000, 6 bags of NPK and Urea fertilisers, rice seedlings, herbicides for their rice farming whilst in reality, they got no money and only a bag of fertiliser per hectare yet during harvest, the farmers were forced against their will to haul bags of rice to the government. The group want the Ebonyi government to provide information on the allegation that they had sold or leased the Ebonyi Fertiliser Blending Plant – the only fertiliser factory in the state.

The highlight of the press conference was when the group talked about loans. They posited that information from the Debt Management Office shows that as at May 2017, Gov Umahi government’s debt profile stands at about N76Bn, yet the Governor is trying to borrow a total of $150m from both the Islamic bank and the African Development Bank to construct just one ring-road. They also said that a few months ago, he borrowed N4Bn from the Industrial Bank. The group stated their plan to take up the state government in court to challenge the borrowing.

The group agreed also revealed that the Governor has 23 commissioners working with him, over 30 senior special advisers and 600 technical and senior technical advisers – paying these people with the state’s lean resources, as a means of buying them over in preparation for the 2019 elections. They alleged that pensioners in the state have not received their pensions and gratuities since 2015 and now, even though the governor has received a total of N20.5Bn from both the Paris fund and the Federal Government bailout, he coerces retirees to collect only 20% of their total benefits.

Members of Advocacy for Good Governance queried why the government would spend the sum of N2.5Bn to build a church in a secular state whereas there are no industries in the state.

On ‘Umahicracy’ – they explained that the governor’s four brothers held different influential positions in the state, including one who is on a N10m retainership with the State’s Ministry of Justice.

A member of the group, Mr. Obinna Udenwe challenged Umahi’s media aides and Special Advisers to a debate if the government thinks they have facts to counter the findings made public by the group. Another member, Prince Uche Ali Ega informed journalists that the group would continue to call press conferences from time to time to expose the happenings in the State and sensitise citizens.

The leader of the group, Comrade Okenwa Uka also said they plan to occupy the streets of Abakaliki and the State House of Assembly with the masses if nothing is done to address the issues raised, especially as it regards health and education.
gogoman at 11:39 AM, 21 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(29238 | Addicted Hero) (m)
na governors dey destroy naija
ruthie at 01:03 PM, 21 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(12581 | Hero) (f)
CHRISETTE at 05:14 PM, 21 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(12778 | Hero) (f)
tegonwa at 06:30 PM, 21 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(6361 | Gistmaniac) (m)
What Do You Mean By ' A 'NGO?This Grammatical Blunder Is Even A Worse Attrocity Than The One You Want Us To Comment On.Too Hopeless!Nawaa O!
Floyd29 at 12:52 AM, 23 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(2176 | Gistmaniac) (f)
Floyd29 at 05:09 AM, 23 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(2176 | Gistmaniac) (f)
tegonwa at 05:45 AM, 23 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(6361 | Gistmaniac) (m)
Too Bad Don't Only Expose, Let Arrests Be Made!Nobody Should Be Immuned To Prosecution!
tegonwa at 06:47 AM, 23 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(6361 | Gistmaniac) (m)
Don't Only Expose, Let Arrests Be Made!
Floyd29 at 08:58 AM, 24 Sep 17 (5 months ago)
(2176 | Gistmaniac) (f)
Bed egg


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