Afikpo people condemn media attacks on Umahi, back policy thrusts of APC


By Victor Nwegede

The people of the Old Afikpo bloc comprising Afikpo North and Afikpo  South Local Government Areas on Monday condemned in a strong term the media attacks against the person of Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State.

This was contained in a communiqué issued by the people during their town hall meeting with Governor Umahi for the interest of peace and security of the state at Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki.

The Communiqué read by a stakeholder from the bloc and the Chairman of Universal Basic Education in the state, High Chief Hyacinth Ikpor also condemned the killings of security agents and destruction of public utilities in the state. 

Ikpor while reading the communique said during the meeting that, far-reaching issues were deliberated upon, including the State of the Nation, the prevalent security challenges being witnessed in the State and the general state of affairs in Ebonyi State in general and Afikpo North and Afikpo South Local Government Areas in particular. 

He also noted that on the strength of a  comprehensive interface between the governor and other participants, the leaders and stakeholders of the bloc threw their faith around the government of Governor Umahi and that of President Muhammadu Buhar aligning themselves with the remedial measures put in place by them, believing in their abilities to bring permanent solution to the incessant security challenges in various communities of the two council areas, the state and Nigeria as a whole.

"That we unequivocally condemn in strongest terms, the recent attack on  some police stations and check points in Ebonyi State (Including the one that happened at the check point at  Timber Shade Junction, Afikpo) by unknown gunmen with the resultant effect of death of security personnel and civilians. 

"In the same vein, we  condemn without reservations, all forms of animosity, hostility and  inter communal clashes and wars in some parts of Ebonyi State and between any part of Ebonyi State and people of any other part of Nigeria.

"That we regret the loss of lives across Ebonyi State through attacks by known and unknown gunmen and which has breached the tranquility, shattered the  solidarity and threatened the age-long peace with which Ebonyi State, the Salt of the Nation is known for and at the same time, we sympathise with those who have been negatively affected by these security challenges in one way or the other.

"We condemn in totality all forms of media attack on the person and office of His Excellency, the Governor of Ebonyi State by disgruntled hirelings and mercenaries whose stock in trade is to sow seeds of discord in the minds of members of the public and hoodwink them into reacting negatively to the high quality government of Engr. David Umahi that has re-written the story of the  State in glory," Ikpor read the communiqué in parts.

He added: "We uphold the Fundamental Human Rights of all citizens as enshrined in the Constitution of the  Federal Republic of Nigeria, with emphasis on freedom of religion, right to freedom of movement including freedom of  settlement by any Nigerian in any part of Ebonyi State and Ebonyi indigenes in any part of Nigeria,  in the spirit of harmony, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

"We charge the good people of Afikpo North and Afikpo South Local Government Areas and indeed all indigenes of Ebonyi State to desist from disseminating and patronising hate speech, distrust, intolerance and clannishness.

"We enjoin everyone in Ebonyi State to conquer mistrust, suspicion and hatred with love; to overcome ignorance, disinformation, misinformation, falsehood and propaganda with enlightenment and truth.

"We encourage our people to resist the urge to be lured into causing unrest, unleashing turmoil and setting Ebonyi State ablaze by the prittle-prattle of a stranger in a strange land, by the casuistry of historical revisionists, idle demagogues and peddlers of myth and cargo- cult mentality."

The people commended Umahi for his sterling leadership qualities in the State Which find expression in the massive transformation of monumental proportion taking place in Ebonyi State.

"We are particularly grateful for  the giant strides recorded by His Excellency in Afikpo North and Afikpo South Local Government Areas as exemplified in construction of dual carriage Road; Construction of Abakaliki/Afikpo Road, multiple fly-over bridges, especially the most magnificent fly-over bridge at Edda,  installation of street lights; reconstruction of Governnent Secondary School Afikpo; reconstruction of General Hospital, Itim Ukwu; construction of Amangwu-Owutu-Ebunwana-Ekoli-Nguzu Edda Road,  massive appointment of Illustrious sons and daughters of Afikpo North and Afikpo South Local Government Areas into positions of trust in his Government as Commissioners, Party Functionaries, chairmen and members of Boards/Commissions; Permanent Secretaries; STAs/TAs among Others," he said.

The people enjoined Umahi, not to be distracted by the sabotage and antics of destructive opposition elements in the State nor be demoralised by the security challenges witnessed in the State, as the Lord Almighty is on the throne to prove Himself faithful and equip him the more with the wisdom  and strength  to overcome our misguided adversaries and navigate the ship of statecraft to a safe harbour.

They also assured the governor, that his passionate and untiring efforts to secure lives and property of Ebonyians shall be complemented by the  Leaders, stakeholders and good people of Afikpo North and Afikpo South Local Government Areas who will join hands with the  Ebubeagu Security Network and other Security Agencies to contain any threat to peace and security in old Afikpo Division from any quarters and from anybody.

They therefore, pledged 'unconditional, unalloyed, undivided and unfeigned support and solidarity to Umahi, assuring him to uphold the policy thrusts of the APC led Administration in Ebonyi State and the Federal Government of Nigeria at all time.

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