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Ebonyi State government and civil society groups, comprising Human Rights/Media Organizations, Labour/Professional Unions and Students at the weekend traded words over alleged abuse of human rights by the state government.
The coalition had in a 5-point communiqué signed by its coordinator, Chief Abia Onyike accused the governor, David Umahi of abuse of human rights, oppression and practicing lawlessness in the state.
The communique reads in part: ‘A Civil-Society Coalition, made up of Human Rights/Media Organizations, Labour/Professional Unions and Student Groups have signed up to come together and use all legal and legitimate means to checkmate Gov. David Umahi’s abuse of human rights, oppression and lawlessness in Ebonyi state.’
‘Umahi is known to have used his high office to abuse the social and economic rights of all categories of public sector workers in Ebonyi state. The coalition will expose the untold atrocities of Gov. Umahi and let all Nigerians know that he is running a slave camp in Ebonyi state whose inmates are getting tired of suffering from untold hardship.’
They further accused the state government led by Umahi of alleged infiltration into opposition political parties in the state.
‘The Civil Society Coalition has investigated Gov. Umahi’s subterranean infiltration into opposition political parties, the bullying of his critics and the intimidation of the Judiciary/Judiciary staff which manifested in the recent interrogation of a Magistrate in the State Judiciary for granting bail to an official of an opposition political party.’
‘Umahi must drop his secret and open sponsorship of political hirelings to undermine rival political parties in the state.’
‘The Civil Society Coalition would invoke the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to compel Gov. Umahi to give account of his stewardship in Ebonyi state. Ebonyians would like to know the amount spent in the execution of every project in the state,’ they alleged.
In a swift reaction, the state government, which spoke to journalists through the state commissioner for information and state orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji described the allegations as baseless and unfounded and tasked Onyike to go for psychological checkup.
According to him: ‘Abia Onyike needs psychological attention before he degenerates to the level of depression.’
He urged him (Onyike) to refrain from inciting citizens of the state against the state government which had provided all basic amenities, infrastructural facilities and other developmental strides to modify the lives of the people.
Orji said that the governor had not only provided infrastructural facilities to aid the people, but equally approved N3billion for the #ENDSARS empowerment programs, which according to him will benefit over 3000 youths and women in the State.
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