By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
A governance and accountability group, Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has expressed shock, displeasure and downright condemnation over a viral video of bags of rice alleged to have been mistakenly sent to Human Rights Radio, Abuja by the Ebonyi state government as Christmas largesse.
In the said viral video which recently flooded Social media platforms, a yet-to-be-identified and distressed driver who reportedly conveyed the said rice from the Ebonyi State capital, Abakaliki to Abuja where it was meant to be delivered to a serving Federal Director was seen lamenting that his payment for the delivery was stalled because he delivered the rice to the wrong address.
The boss of Human Rights Radio, Abuja popularly known as Berekete family, Ahmed Musa is also seen in the video footages asking the young man never to lament or fidget as he would pay for the rice when and if the state government comes up to make claims.
Musa, who is known as “Ordinary President”, had while asking that the driver be given N50, 000 being payment for job done lambasted the Ebonyi State government for giving out 300 bags of branded 25kg rice to just one rich individual when poor civil servants in the state are living in abject poverty and want.
But reacting to the development through a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday by its President Amb. Pascal Oluchukwu, said his group is troubled by what he described as “uncommon but shameful Father Christmas behaviour of Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi and his aides.”
The group said the action has betrayed every logic of compassion “how Ebonyi State government would give out less than 5kg bags of rice per two civil servants in some cases and one bag of the same less than 5kg in others to it’s workers but send a massive 300 bags of rice to just a single Director in the Federal Civil service who ordinarily can afford what to eat this yuletide.
“We also recall that the same Governor Umahi promised civil servants N10, 000 each as their Christmas bonus- a pledge, we reliably gathered is yet to be redeemed as at the time of making this Press release. Yet, the greedy and over-ambitious Umahi is expending our very limited resources on those who may not have need for it just to curry the favour of the northern oligarchs in his new defection enterprise.
“This despicable outing proves our claims right that Governor Umahi definitely orchestrated the abject poverty that is now the order of the day in our dear State. Governor Umahi has no human feelings at all and does not feel any bit the pains and agonies of Ebonyi people.
“We condemn this shameful looting and wastage of Ebonyi’s scarce resources by a man who claims to be a father but has preferred to focus his attention on mere frivolities while using multiple decorative flyovers to deceive some gullible Nigerians. Our people are truly suffering deprivation under the Umahi regime that is battling to convince the world that Ebonyi has become an Eldorado because of his numerous deceptive cosmetic projects.”
The group, however called on the Ebonyi state government to speak up and tender an unreserved apology to Ebonyi people within 48 hours, adding that silence not be golden.
“Finally, we demand more humane approach to governance issues by the Umahi-led administration that has already caused our dear people so much penury. Enough, we believe, should really be enough.”