A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Dr Chris Adol-Awam has condemned the style of leadership of Governor Dave Umahi declaring that he has come to liberate his people from the governor’s bondage.
Addressing a world press conference in Enugu at the weekend Dr. Adol Awam the only aspirant who has so far declared his ambition to takeover from Umahi in 2019 said that his priority as a governor will be to build industries in the state as one of the measures to tackle the high rate of unemployment affecting the state.
Dr Adol-Awam, who was also the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ebonyi State during the 2011 election, said that his government would equally ensure agriculture for which Ebonyi State and her people are known, would be taken to a higher mechanized level.
The former state chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), in Ebonyi, said it was wrong of the state governor, David Umahi to claim that his administration was responsible for bringing the name of the state on the world map of agriculture, insisting that “our dear state, Ebonyi has always been known for agriculture even before Umahi joined politics.” He remarked: “Umahi was not the person that pushed Ebonyi people into farming; Ebonyi people have always been known for farming.”
He said: “The unemployment rate is worse in Ebonyi. I have in mind to industrialise the state and give the youths employment,” adding that it was regrettable that university graduates in Ebonyi state are being used as mere political thugs rather than being given job opportunities to ensure their bright future in this 21st century.
Adol-Awam, who is also the founder and General Overseer of Eternal Light of World Christian Church , Ebonyi State, said that another agenda of his administration would be to remove the yoke of heavy taxation and needless levies which, he claimed, the current government imposed on the masses of the state, alleging that “even those who hawk sachets of Pure Water are not exempted.”
He condemned what he regarded as the reign of impunity which he alleged exists in the state since the emergence of the current administration, urging the Ebonyi people to be bold and courageous in ensuring that the present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government is voted out of power in 2019.
“Let them be resolute; let them be determined; is only fear and intimidation that can destroy them forever. I want them to obtain their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) with which they have to perform the magic of removing the PDP and Umahi from office next year,” he said.
Adol-Awam criticized Umahi’s alleged use of intimidation as a style of governance even though Nigeria is operating a democratic system of government. “Can you imagine Governor Umahi threatening that he would crush and grind any opposition in Ebonyi State?”
Saying that he least expected such utterance from a governor of Umahi’s standing, Adol-Awam further restated that it was mere wishful thinking for Umahi to believe that he would be able to “crush and grind everybody in Ebonyi State.”
“I’m from Izzi; if you want Dave Umahi defeated, I’m the right person that has the capacity to match him in all ramifications. Umahi and I are from the different Senatorial zone. He is from south and I am from north.”
Adol-Awam, who served as former Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area during the regime of former Governor Sam Egwu, insisted that there is no way anybody, be the individual a governor or not, could cow down all Ebonyi people, adding, “If I die now, I didn’t die young.”
He condemned strongly the manner his Church’s billboard bearing his photograph was destroyed outright by political thugs purportedly working for the government shortly after he announced his governorship ambition, and the series of attacks launched on the APC members during their political meetings in the state.
He recalled that during a meeting of the APC held at the Isi-Eke residence of a member of the party, armed thugs allegedly working for the government went in their numbers and attacked the meeting. He alleged: “Eze Nwachukwu Eze a member of APC in the state wanted to tour the local government areas, but he was violently attacked. At Ohaukwu local government area, APC meeting was attacked by thugs. The billboard of my church was destroyed immediately I declared my ambition to contest. What is happening in Ebonyi state is a reign of impunity; government of one man, by one man and for one man only. And it’s time for the masses to stop this drift into total anarchy.”
He said that both the people of Ebonyi north senatorial district and south as well as central are all clamouring for a change of government in the state, adding that “the game of APC is what, can we do to win Ebonyi state?”
Adol-Awam said that he is into healing and deliverance ministry, hence he had the voice of God several times urging him to contest for governorship of Ebonyi state. “Last year, the same voice came back asking me to come and serve my people…My people came urging me to come and run; that they are hungry, languishing in abject poverty and suffering too much under the yoke of heavy taxation,” he claimed.
The politician said that he has been in touch with some of the elders and founding fathers of the state such as former governor Martin Elechi and Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the current minister of Science and Technology and they didn’t object to his ambition.
“Ogbonnaya Onu is my leader and I don’t have issues with him. I told him that for us to remove Umahi, we need a candidate from Abakaliki zone because of the block votes. If Onu throws his weight behind me, it’s a big plus for me and a big minus for Umahi because Umahi and Onu are from the same zone. I also visited Chief Elechi and told him about my ambition and he wished me well,” he said.