May 29: Full speech of Governor Umahi's 6th anniversary in office

This is the full broadcast of the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer David Nweze Umahi on the occasion of his sixth anniversary in office, this day May 29, 2021.

1. It is my pleasure to announce that we are six years in Office as the third administration in Ebonyi State and we are deeply very grateful to God almighty for giving us the grace to navigate the affairs of the State. These six years have been quite challenging, I don't know whether we have had two or three recessions, we have all kinds of disturbances, the devaluation of the naira, turbulent economy but in all these things, God has been very very faithful to us, where people felt we have excelled and each time we met challenges, God has never left us, so we are deeply grateful to God almighty. 

We must thank the late General Sani Abacha very highly who saw the reasons to liberate Ebonyi people from the bondage of slavery and created Ebonyi State and for this, we remain grateful to him and we continue to pray God to judge him fairly. I have said before now that we will set a date when we call the family of late Sani Abacha and honor him,   we are deeply indebted to him. We thank all founding fathers that are still alive and those who have joined our ancestors, I will continue to remind Ebonyi State, the spirit of the founding fathers, and the spirit upon which they fought was devoid of selfishness, they foresaw the level of slavery we were going to undergo and they set aside their differences and put the interest of Ebonyi State ahead of all of us and they kept saying each time they were reminded that we may not have had economic viability but whatever was given to us we will continue to manage it and we are living today as a Government through that spirit and my Prayer is that the spirit should not depart from our people because it is that spirit that created the State and it is that spirit upon which we shall Excel as we are on our journey to excelling very well, so we thank our founding fathers, those who are alive and those who have departed, without which, we will not be celebrating this sixth anniversary.

2. We must thank the Deputy Governor, my family members, especially my wife, my brothers and sisters, my children, the Right Honourable Speaker and the House of Assembly members, my Lord the Chief Judge including all the past Chief Judges, all the Judiciary members, my great Commissioners, SSAs and SAs both those who are still here and those at the waiting wings, I must thank you so much for your cooperation, I thank the Press so much, the Press has been very fair to us, they have reported us fairly, they have been very objective in their reporting and we remain very grateful to all of you. We must exceedingly thank the Security Agencies, a lot of them have made the supreme sacrifices fighting to give us peace, protect us and protect our investment, so we thank them for the sacrifices they have made and the ones they are making, they are fighting that we do not kill ourselves and my Security Chiefs, I remain grateful to you and I promise to do everything possible to support Security Agencies to ensure the safety of every Ebonyi man or woman and her visitors.

3. I will say that the journey so far is a journey of grace, a journey of mercy, a journey of miracles. I  can beat my chest with gratitude to God almighty to say that the dreams of our founding fathers have been substantially realized. We may not give our scorecard, we do that from November when we will roll out drums to celebrate, my preoccupation now is how to secure Ebonyi State and to ensure that Ebonyi State does not go back to slavery, so we are postponing our anniversary celebration to November. 

Significant among the things that we have done is the new University of Medical Sciences in Ohaozara which has been signed into law, passed by the House of Assembly, and by this, we are highly grateful to God, this University is not going to be cheap, it is going to be a very high profile  University that can compete favorably with any University in the world, and we are projecting that the total income from this University at the end of the first two years will be about the average of 30 billion per annum, and so, this University will be able to sustain itself and sustain other higher Institutions in the State. 

Finishing touches are going on now at the University and we are also trudging very highly at the International Airport. Some of our brothers in the South East have argued why Ebonyi State should have an international airport and that is the mind of those who don't love us, they want us to go into second slavery but this has become the Nazareth not just of the South East but of the entire Country. Who is he that speaketh when God has not spoken and God has spoken that this is the Nazareth of this Nation and no man can stop it, and funny enough we are going to have the longest and widest tarmac in this Country, we are pushing ahead. 

The dualization of Abakaliki to Enugu and Abakaliki to Afikpo is also on the advanced stage and these two projects we intend to complete before we bow out of office. The moment you enter Ebonyi State from any part of other States, you have dualized roads and you have light and this is important to us.

4. We have successfully completed phase one of the processes of the  famous Abakaliki Ring road and we must first thank His Excellency, Jim Nwobodo who first articulated this and constructed the road, though on earth because of paucity of fund at that time and of course Chief Martin Elechi who also worked assiduously in the maintenance of the road, today, the entire road is gone but by the grace of God and the assistance of Mr President, if he is bad to other people, he is good to Ebonyi State and we are not afraid to say it, this man has helped Ebonyi State tremendously, and my Bible tells me that he who will pay evil for the good done unto him that evil will not depart from his household, so, Mr. President we are grateful as Ebonyi people because your assistance and the assistance you gave to other Governors is what has liberated Ebonyi State and put us in an irreversible gear that we will never go back to second slavery, so we are happy for this ring road, it is a total of 199 kilometers, Ebonyi State Government has constructed part of that as 25% required equity and so the phase one has started because we have signed the contract, and we are grateful to God for this project. When we finish it, Abakaliki Zone in particular and Ebonyi State, in general, will never remain the same.

5. I have flagged off the intervention projects totaling about 10km in Ozzizza and Mater roads, Oriuzo to the Airport road and Mgbo to Okwo market road, these are promises made in the campaign of 2015,  it is not an easy thing, it is not convenient for us but through God's mercies and grace, we must keep our promises, this we must do. 

6. The mall which is the beauty of the State is in its completion in the next two months and it is a beauty to behold and we are proud to have a mall like that, it is a microcosm of the macrocosm of Dubai mall and no one can contest that.

7. Our flyovers are going on, the average construction period of our flyovers with grade 40 concrete remains 9 to 12 months. The two last flyovers we shall be doing is one in Afikpo and one by Ogbe Hausa junction and all the ongoing projects and the Edda flyover are all on the verge of completion, that Edda flyover that defied the courage of many men is 70% done and we will finish it before the end of this year and we will deploy it.

8. On the issue of Security, people of South East, we have met ourselves with a very dangerous trend that I will continue to plead to our people and our Politicians to rise to the challenges because this is a monster that will do nobody any good, and anybody that will rise and say that external forces are destroying South East is deceiving himself because we know who is destroying South East, it is southeast that is killing South East.

I continue to tell the Security Agencies to mind the utterances of Politicians, it is their utterances that is fueling these crises,  when you go to Social media, you will see all these people, and they are the people that are instigating the bandits to be killing the Security people, some of them even have Security protection and this is absurd and I will like you to rise to this, our print media they have been very wonderful, our electronic Media they have been very wonderful, but this issue that somebody would take a phone and begin to dish out fake information that can destroy a nation should be checked and should be confronted.

I think that what is important now is for all hands to be on deck and to fight this monster of insecurity, what is needed at a time like this is patriotism.

I have been getting voices from some agitators that tomorrow there will be no movement, this is foolishness if there is no movement in  South East, will there be no movement in the whole country, what an Ebonyi man will never accept is to go into second slavery under any guise, we know the Biafra we need, it is to have money so that we can cleanse off the toga of slavery that our brothers and sisters subjected us into, if you love Ebonyi State bring money, come and put up one construction, we want to see your investment in Ebonyi State. I want to say there will be free movement throughout today, throughout tomorrow and going forward and I challenge the Youths,  Security Agencies, Local Government Chairmen to ensure that nobody is molested. I have banned any form of procession or gathering till further notice in Ebonyi State.

9. On Sunday, I would want people who are of Christian denomination to go about their church services and pray for our Nation, pray for the souls of those who have lost their lives during the war and even now that the Security Agencies are striving to protect us.

10. On Monday, the markets must be fully operational, I ask the Security Agencies to deploy massively Security people to protect Ebonyians everywhere.

Ebubeagu has been signed into law, for those who are afraid of Ebubeagu, Ebubeagu is not after any Politician or tribe, it is to assist Security Agencies to maintain law and order, but it is legal and it has come to stay, only the guilty are afraid.

11. I want to appeal to parents to advise their children, I want the Stakeholders to advise our children, these Children should please do not confront Security Agencies because Security Agencies will defend themselves decisively if they try it, Ebubeagu will defend themselves decisively if they try it, let us stay in peace, agitations do not mean violence, agitations does not mean insulting leaders of this country, agitations do not mean killing Security Agencies, how much have Ebonyi people been loved in the past, Ebonyi people be wise.

12. Only yesterday in Exco, we had to do two sets of dissolution of  Exco, the first set has taken place, the second one will still take place but the first is in place, we dissolved Exco because we have been getting agitations of some members that want to contest elections, so we had to dissolve to allow them to enable those who want to contest elections have enough time, about a year and six months to contest elections. 

We have a population of about 4 million and both the elected and appointed is about 4000 which is about 1% of the population, so if anybody believes that I am Governor just to take care of these 4000 people, you are just wasting your time, because if I don't build hospitals, if I don't build roads, if I don't build schools, then we are wasting our time, the education of our people, the welfare of our people is also very important, and remember we have over 30000 Civil Servants, we also have to look after of them, so for those who have the benefit of having brand new vehicles, Jeeps, having lands allocated to them at the Centenary City, having salaries every month, having one form of favor or the other and they are complaining, let those who have sympathy for opposition be able to join opposition but we have 3000 businesses waiting for Ebonyians.

13. To the rest of the Boards and Commissions, we also noticed the same thing that there are also people warming up for our Local Government election next year, we noticed that some TAs, STAs, EAs, Liaison officers,  Advisory Committee Members will also want to contest, so accordingly, all the Liaison officers are hereby dissolved, all the TAs, STAs, EAs are hereby dissolved, all the Advisory Committee are hereby dissolved, Management Committee Members are hereby dissolved, the only Commissions and Boards that are not dissolved are State Civil Service Commission, Local Government Service Commission, House of Assembly Service Commission, Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, Judiciary Service Commission, apart from these Boards and Commissions, every other Commissions and Board are hereby dissolved. We will reconstitute these Boards and Management Committee when we know those who are Politicians that want to contest elections and those who will weather the storm with me who are not interested in contesting another election will now come back so that we now focus on governance While they focus on politics.

14. We also put before these ones that have been dissolved a permanent job of 3000 Civil Service jobs, so if you don't make it back and you are still of the working-age, we will give you a permanent job, we have approved that we are going to employ   3000 civil servants, 3000 SMEs that is also there and the employment that will happen at the International Airport, we are advertising for it, the  College of Medicine, the mall, in the International market and of course in the ring road, so if you are not good in politics you will be good in business, if you are not good in business, you will be good in Civil Service job, the dissolution is a win-win for Ebonyi State so that you don't do two things at the same time.

15. Everyone that has worked with me, be it in the Judiciary, the House of Assembly, the Exco, the TAs, the Civil Servants since 2015 will be given handsome empowerment before I bow out of office, for my Exco members and Government officials that it will enable you to start a substantial business. We will be approaching the House of Assembly for massive empowerment next year, our budget is going to constitute the same about 45% recurrent, empowerment will do about 30% and 15% will be a capital project, it is the 7th year, the 7th day that our Lord Jesus Christ rested, that is the year of rest for me and I will be supporting all those who want to go into politics.

16. So, I want to thank the Local Government Chairmen very highly, you have done extremely well, you have let the people you are governing know that the economy is tough and bad, nobody gets one kobo from your money, your money goes straight to the respective Local Government. 

The former Chairman of the Local Government was complaining, every month, Afikpo North is on negative, they cannot meet up their obligation and that is why the former Chairman went to steal 50 million from the Bank in the name of borrowing without the approval of the House of Assembly, approval of Governor, approval of F&G, he took it and embezzled it and that is why he is running helter-skelter, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission has to catch up with him and he has to be moved to EFCC, he must vomit the money, so I have to thank the Chairmen and Coordinators and the EAs, STAs, some of you are just fantastically wonderful. For some of you that are wonderful and committed, am sure the tendency of your coming back is over 95%, so continue to support the government, be assured that by November we will roll out our drums and we will celebrate but in all, I am grateful to all of you for your loyalty, for your support, for your love, for your sacrifices and your determination, Ebonyi State must be great, this is what God told us and we are deeply very grateful to God, so once again thank you very much.

17. And to announce that the supplementary appropriation bill has been passed by the House of Assembly and signed into law, and to announce that Public procurement bill has been signed into law, the amended law of Ebonyi State University.

I want to vow that I am going to reposition the University before I bow out, I will put that University in an International standard, I have started with the solar lights and generators and water there, in all the campuses of Ebonyi State University and tertiary institutions in the State, we have light twenty-four hours and water twenty-four hours, we have started internal concrete roads for EBSU and we will not stop until we conclude all the Internal roads, after that, we go into sporting activities and we do visitation panel, we will get the quality of teaching and learning to the highest standard in this country and you know when we say we will do, through God that strengthens us we have always done.

18. For the avoidance of doubt,  Local Government Advisory Committee stand dissolved, EAs, STAs, TAs dissolved, all Liaison officers dissolved, Management Committee Members dissolved, Secondary Education Board dissolved, Universal Basic Education Board dissolved, Ebonyi State Community and Social Development Agency dissolved, and other Boards like State Agricultural Land Development Board and every other Commissions and Board that I didn't remember. Thank you and God bless you.

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