COVID-19: Umahi’s order to isolate me; plot to make me keep quiet; Governor’s brother had threatened to kill me— Ex Ebonyi Commissioner cries out

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The former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Chief Abia Onyike, on Friday, said the order by Governor David Umahi that he should be quarrantined for 14 days was a ploy geared towards silencing him from criticising his administration.

Umahi had on Thursday during the Statewide broadcast to update citizens on the  fight against COVID-19, ordered the State Director of State Security Service, to ensure that Onyike was quarrantined for 14 days.

The governor also insisted that he should be made to undergo COVID-19 test, adding that the law should not spare the “big men” of the society.
“We continue to appeal to our people to ensure that if you come from outside, that you should submit yourself to NCDC protocols.

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“I am told by one of the Chairmen that Abia Onyike came from outside into the State, and the Chairman is insisting that he should not be allowed into the village.

“But he is in another place which is in the capital city, which is also dangerous.

“So, we are directing the Director, SSS, to take him at his property, and ensure he is tested for COVID-19. If he doesn’t have confidence in our testing here in Ebonyi, he should do it in Enugu. But he must compulsorily isolate for 14 days”, Umahi said.

But, in a press statement issued on Friday, Mr. Onyike accused the Governor and his agents of subjecting him to incessant intimidation, harrassment and threats to his life.

The former Commissioner said he was not afraid of undergoing COVID-19 test, but was not comfortable being tested by Umahi’s agents, as according to him, the Governor’s brother had threatened to kill him.

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He said, “I want to seize this opportunity to draw the attention of the public to the incessant intimidation and harrassment which I have been subjected to by Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Agents. Gov. Umahi has vowed to employ all sinister measures to silence  and prevent me from being critical of his anti-people administration–Personal abuses, threats to my life by his brothers and members of his family are not too  numerous and dirty to publish here.

“On Tuesday, the 9th of June, 2020, I  was  part of a three-man panel of Discussants, invited by Dream FM Radio in Enugu to analyze the issue of Leadership and Democracy in the South-East geopolitical zone, as part of the celebration of 21 years of  uninterrupted democratic governance in Nigeria.

“In the one- hour programme, I took time to dissect, analyze and criticize Gov. Umahi’s oppressive, dictatorial and lawless government in Ebonyi state. I accused the government of being nepotic as Umahi had converted the state to a private family dynasty.

“After the programme, I returned to Abakaliki and was confronted  same day by Mr. Austin Umahi, the governor’s younger brother who is the National Vice Chairman of PDP.

“He sent a message to my WhatsApp and threw caution to the winds by calling me names amidst other unprintable and derogatory comments, and sought to know why I criticized his brother’s government. Later on, he called me on phone and threatened my life, saying that they were going to kill me.

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“Then yesterday, Thursday, 11th June, 2020, Gov.Umahi used  his live broadcast to issue an order that the security agencies should compell me to be isolated and quarantined.

“I wish to state categorically that the present step by Umahi is a calculated witch-hunt aimed at curtailing my  fundamental human rights and freedom of speech. It was based on a letter issued by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Afikpo South LGA ( my LGA of origin). 

“But this process is shrowded in mystery and contradictions. First and foremost, I am resident in Abakaliki and not Afikpo South LGA, so how come the letter is coming from the Afikpo South Council Chair, who alleged that I am a suspected CODIV-19 patient.

“The Council Chairman, Okechukwu Ogbuagu Chima is not a medical doctor but a surrogate character being manipulated by his superior authorities.

“I wish to state that I will not be comfortable with any test being conducted by Governor Umahi’s agents in Ebonyi State  as the Governor and his brother, Austin had threatened to kill me.

“Governor Umahi thinks he can silence us from celebrating democracy. Where was he when some of us were confronting the Nigerian military under the banner of pro-democracy movements, to return Nigeria to democracy, after the annulment of the June 12 election. I was active in the Civil Liberties Organization from inception in 1989. I was part of Campaign for Democracy from inception in 1993 and  later went to Benin-City in 1994 with other patriots to launch the Democratic Alternative. I was also very active in the Ebonyi State Movement from 1994 to 1st October, 1996 when the state was created. Where was Umahi?”.

By Famous Reporters

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