The governor elect of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, while speaking during the May Day Celebrations at the Abakaliki Township stadium yesterday Friday, May 1, 2015 gave the indigenes of the state the assurance that his administration would fight corruption, put an end to victimisation and intimidation, establish anti-grafts units in the state and he also promised not to award any contract to himself, family members and relations. He said he would sit with the labour leaders to fashion out how the state should be governed.
Umahi noted that it was his target to boost the economic fortunes of the state to be the highest in the country with all stakeholders and citizens venturing into agricultural production. The governor-elect is currently the Ebonyi state Deputy governor undeer the Martin Elechi administration.
Some indigenes of the state have alleged that the deputy governor was one of the most corrupt deputy governors in the country during the time when he was in good terms his boss and governor, Martin Elechi. Now that he has become governor-elect, Umahi is mouthing about his desire to fight corruption in the state even if he has to step on big toes in the process.
Reports from the state claim that as Umahi grew in stature, he and members of his family won several contracts worth billions in road construction, as well as hospitals and schools construction and equipping alleging that Umahi’s company Brass Engineering and Construction Limited and companies of his family members are the highest contractors in Ebonyi state from 2008 till date, receiving payments in excess of N32billion from the state Government within the period. He was also the Chairman of Ebonyi State PDP before becoming deputy governor.
Umahi’s grip on the state during the Elechi administration was so powerful that the Akwa Ibom state Governor, Godswill Akpabio, who chaired the PDP reconciliatory meeting after the party congress which brought Umahi as guber candidate as against the preferred candidate of the governor reportedly told his colleagues that he had never seen a man like Ebonyi governor in his life. “He left everything for his deputy; politics, economy, governance and even the party structure. Papa Elechi caused all these because he over-empowered his deputy,” Akpabio had said.
However, Umahi will be governor of the state this month even though his victory is being challenged in court. He has now said that he will fight corruption in the state. It will be a surprise if Umahi keeps to his words on that considering how he has never had qualms doing it in the past.