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Friday, 3 August 2018

APC rally: Don’t near Ebonyi Stadium – Umahi warns minister’s faction

APC rally: Don’t near Ebonyi Stadium – Umahi warns minister’s faction

The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Dave Umahi has said that he has right not approved the factional political rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the minister of science and technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu from taking place at the Abakaliki township stadium.

He warned the Onu-led APC leadership in Ebonyi against causing a breach of peace in the state, stressing that the state stadium is a state facility and not federal government facilities.

Umahi made this known while briefing journalists at his confrence room, Government House Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

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He, however, said he had approved the stadium for mega rally by another faction of the party, with its own chairman, Dr. Sylvester Nwambe, for President Muhammadu Buhari on 11th of this month.

The rally, tagged “South East for Buhari”, (SEB) has the backing of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

It was gathered that the Onu led faction, which has Pastor Eze Nwachukwu as its Chairman, had insisted that it must use the stadium on Saturday for a rally to receive some persons into the party and allow aspirants declare for governorship race in 2019.

But Governor Umahi said he did not approve the Onu faction’s rally.

Addressing journalists in Abakaliki on the alleged threat that it must use the stadium whether it was approved or not, Umahi said “the stadium is not federal government property or APC property; in fact

federal government property is not APC property. The Pa Ngele Oruta Abakaliki Township stadium, the Ebonyi state government is the owner. The federal government or APC did not put one kobo in the renovation work that is ongoing there.

“However, on 20th of July, I was already in Dubai on a working visit when a section or faction of APC in the state wrote a letter requesting for the use of the Stadium to do a rally for the President.

I immediately approved it and passed it back to Ebonyi state which I copied to security Chiefs.

“Then on my return on 1st August, I got another letter dated 30th saying they have cancelled it and moved it to 11th. I said okay and immediately put on a Neighbourhood security Watch recruitment for
Friday and Saturday. If it is not completed, it will be on Monday.

“Unknown to me, there is another faction of the APC that wrote for the use of the stadium but they didn’t write to me. They wrote to Commissioner for Youth and Sports that they want to the stadium. I was not aware of this faction, so I had to deal with what was before me.

“If they are holding two rallies, they have to find another venue for tomorrow because the stadium is already engaged. I have complained to security Chiefs to warn the man they called Eze, factional Chairman of the APC and Chika Nwoba, they should be warned. They should not use their mouth to ignite crisis and violence in the state.

“In their meetings and social media, Chika Nwoba has been boasting that they will over run the stadium tomorrow but if they are man enough, let them near the stadium tomorrow. I am not saying enter but let them near it tomorrow and then they will understand who is the owner of the stadium.

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“On a more serious note, politics is not all about falsehood and using your mouth to bring crisis and violence upon the people. I have never castigated the President or any of their people. So, I will not
entertain them coming to the stadium, ridding on a good road, drinking good water and then mount the stadium and begin to castigate me. I am happy federal government is preaching against hate speeches and I am against hate speeches. So, they shouldn’t try to bring hate speeches
to Ebonyi”.

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