Concerned Ebonyi Residents Condemn Gov Umahi's Clampdown On Media

... Accuse Umahi of behaving like an emperor

.. As power is transient

By Idu Nwoke

Abakaliki------ Some concerned Ebonyi residents under the auspices of Ebonyi Collectives have warned the state governor, David Umahi, against fighting the media, unnecessarily.

The Ebonyi collectives noted the incessant cases of detention of journalists who were doing their legitimate duties in the state on the orders of the governor, reminding him of a warning by late sage and former President of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe to the late Administrator of the defunct East Central State, Dr Ukpabi Asika on how temporal power is.

These were contained in a terse statement signed by the Convener of the group, Chief Nwofe Opoke.

Opoke said, "For sometime now, Governor David Umahi has been hounding journalists working in Ebonyi, using flimsy excuses. Maybe Umahi thinks that journalists working in Ebonyi state are his employees who he can sack at will. They are however, not.

"Gov Umahi began his clampdown on reporters shortly after some of them published stories about EFCC sealing his hotel which he reportedly built, using public fund.

"The Sun and Vanguard newspapers were among the national newspapers who carried the story of his hotel and the EFCC connection .

"However, Governor Umahi has not forgiven them since then and had been using all manner of threats to intimidate and harass them. Every resident of Ebonyi knows that the media had not been reporting the corruption perpetrated by the administration of Umahi and his family family members.

"We are keeping our cool, realising that like our great late in-law, late Azikiwe told Asika, his town's man, a governor today will one day become an ex- governor. You wont be a governor tomorrow. Our advise however, is that you learn from history. You cannot win the war against the media, so do not start a war you will never win. Journalists living in Ebonyi or outside Abakaliki are Nigerians who are professionals in their own field. You are an engineer, not a journalist and therefore, cannot teach them how they go about their duties.

"We also advise the state Commissioner of Police, who is about retiring from the force, not to stake his Carrear on the Gov Umahi. The police in Ebonyi or any other state must know that their loyalty is to Nigeria and Nigetians who pay their salaries and other emoluments and not individuals in government. As they say, 'soldier come, soldier go, barrack' remains."



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