We won’t allow Ebonyi Govt force our people to ‘disown’ ex-Commissioner Onyike – Group tells Govt

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Edda Professionals’ League, a body comprising eminent experts in diverse professions, on Sunday, raised an alarm over a subtle move by Ebonyi State Government, led by Governor David Umahi to compel some appointees of government and traditional rulers to ‘disown’ Chief Abia Onyike, a former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in the State.

It would be recalled that Onyike had served as Commissioner for Information and State Orientation during the administration of former Governor Martin Elechi.

The former Commissioner, as gathered hails from Owutu Edda community, Edda clan (in the Afikpo South Local Government Area) of the state.

FamousReporters reports that Chief Onyike and former Secretary to the State Government, Prof Benard Odoh, have been critical of Governor David Umahi’s alleged high-handedness and ‘dictatorial’ tendencies in the running of the state, as Odoh himself, was said to have been ‘disowned’ and ‘rejected’ by stakeholders of Ezza Nation, where he hails from.

A statement from the EPL, which was made  available to journalists on Sunday, observed that the hatched plan might unfold and hit the media any time from Monday (today), June 22, saying the document was currently being sgned in Abakaliki.

The Pro-Edda group, noted that some political office holders, traditional rulers and representatives of several interest groups in the area, were being cajoled into signing the document purportedly on behalf of all Edda people, to coerce Onyeike, who was equally a former Deputy President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, to stop criticising the State Government or be declared an outcast by the Edda Clan.

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The statement, which was signed by Secretary of the group, Mr Ikenna Emewu, noted that the plan didn’t represent the position of the Edda people and should be regarded as worthless, baseless and mere figment of the imagination of those behind it.

According to Emewu, no Edda man had the right in the laws of the country and the traditions of the area, to declare anyone an outcast.

The statement read in part, ,”We have it on good authority and from very reliable sources that some political interests in Edda (Afikpo South LGA) have bounded themselves together to come up with a public statement that would purport to coerce, compel, cajole and stampede Chief Abia Onyeike to tender public apology to the government of Ebonyi State and denounce whatever he had at any time said to the media about the government of the state as lie.

“We also have gathered that the same groups that may cut across traditional rulers, political office holders, student bodies, youth organisations or political party leaders, or even civil servants, possibly working under any influence, inducement or political and personal interest are on the verge of collecting signatures from people dubbed loosely as Edda stakeholders to champion this and most of all give Chief Onyeike a time within which to recant or face banishment, ostracism, exile, public denial or image smear or all of these.

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“We therefore state that whoever as traditional or body of traditional rulers or any form of group that takes such action is not for or on behalf of the Edda Clan. That would be purely on the platform of vile, virulent and sinful politics.

“The Edda Professionals’ League as a group of eminent and informed Edda natives are fully aware of the traditional methods through which people are called to order in Edda in case they step outside the line and such measures don’t include disowning our own before the outer world.

“We state for certain that there has never been a time the Edda Clan gathered at Osisioma, Ububa, Atamata or any of the traditional decision grounds to indict Chief Onyeike first as to bring him to public denial as consequence.”

By Famous Reporters

1 Comment

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