Because Ebonyi has been “so oppressed,” Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi says Igbos in the state will not aspire to or be a part of Biafra.
“First and foremost, as I have always said, if anyone tells you about Biafra, tell them that Ebonyi state will never be a part of it.” Biafra is not our name. We’ve been oppressed for so long, and now we’re regaining our footing, and you want us to return. We are not going to do it. Mr Umahi insisted, “We will not.”
Mr Umahi made this statement in Abakaliki on Thursday, following his announcement on Wednesday that he would run for president in 2023.
If elected president in 2023, the governor promised to continue where President Muhammadu Buhari left off by the end of his term.
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Mr Umahi, who is banking on the APC zoning its presidential ticket to the South-East, had maintained a public perception of a performing governor until January 2021, when Peoples Gazette exposed how he diverted massive amounts of state funds into his personal company account in a report.
According to bank documents, Mr Umahi diverted about N3.6 billion into his Brass Engineering, a company he has owned since 1993, since becoming deputy governor to Martin Elechi in 2011, in flagrant violation of existing code of conduct regulations prohibiting senior public officials from conducting private businesses while in office, with the exception of subsistence agriculture.
An aide to Mr Umahi, enraged by The Gazette’s report, threatened to kill the online newspaper’s reporters over the phone, claiming that The Gazette’s exposure of Mr Umahi’s corruption “could cost lives.”