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Politics of Wednesday, 20 May 2020


TOPO debunks claims it's marginalising Ebonyi zone in federal appointments

The Onu Political Organisation (TOPO), has debunked the claims that it is marginalising Abakaliki bloc in federal appointments as well as in siting of federal institutions in Ebonyi.

A group identified as Hope Ambassadors alleged in a social media publication by one Mr Jeremiah Onyibe, that Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology of deliberately marginalising the Abakaliki bloc in federal appointments and sitting of institutions in favour of his zone.

In a response to the allegations on Wednesday, TOPO labelled the allegations as a figment of the imagination of the group, adding that the statement was capable of engendering political distrust and disunity in the state

Chief Egwu Chima, National Publicity Secretary of TOPO, who briefed newsmen, said that Onu remained an acclaimed detribalised Nigerian whose political ideology which spanned nearly four decades was founded on equity, fairness and justice for the oppressed and marginalised.

The publication captioned: ‘Wake up Oh Abakaliki People’ read in part:

“Let the strong leaders of Abakaliki bloc arise now, we can’t keep quite again, while your keeping calm the position given to our son, late Chief Tobias Okwuru was taken from us to old Ohaozara.

” Instead of sourcing immediate replacement from his immediate family or even community, the position was taken away.”

Chima said that the divisive utterances by individuals or groups was despicable, noting that the nomination of late Okwuru as member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was not done on senatorial sentiment.

“There have been so much misunderstanding and rumours on the appointment of a man from outside Ezza to replace the late Okwuru who died before he was inaugurated.

“The limited understanding is that the slot should have been given to his wife, member of the family or any person from his zone.

“The limited understanding of such people is that the position was meant for Tobe Okwuru; or that it is meant for the family or for community he came from.

“This is politically untrue. The position is for Ebonyi and the one chosen to replace Okwuru is eminently qualified and a retired federal permanent secretary.

“His choice was made to eliminate anything that can disqualify Ebonyi from assuming the position after the demise of Okwuru.

“The area the position went to is not out of place in the political allocations of Ebonyi,” Chima said

He said that Abakaliki bloc has had fair representation in both federal political appointments and sitting of institutions.

“Ambassador Jonah Mkpuruka is a serving ambassador covering Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil and he is from Ikwo, Ebonyi Central, Sen. Julius Ucha is a member of National Assembly Service Commission, from Ishielu, Ebonyi Central.

“Chief Enyi Enyi from Ezza in Ebonyi Central is Chairman, Federal University Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Governing Council, Chief Austin Edeze, from Ebonyi North, is Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Ado- Ekiti in Ekiti .

“Chief Elias Mbam from Izzi in Ebonyi North zone is the Chairman Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, while Mr Patrick Mgbebu, is a member representing Ebonyi in the Commission, among others.

“All the above mentioned appointees are from the Abakaliki bloc.

“No man from Ebonyi South zone is heading any commission, board or agency and we wonder where or how the cry of marginalisation of Abakaliki bloc by the group is coming from.

He noted that Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo and the newly established Federal Science College, Ameka in Ezza South were all sited in Ebonyi Central.

“Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu and Federal Government College, Okposi were institutions established long before the advent of the current democratic dispensation.

Ebonyi is made up of two major political bloc-the Abakaliki bloc comprising Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central senatorial zones.

The Ebonyi North zone is made up of Izzi, Ebonyi, Abakaliki and Ohaukwu local government areas, while Ebonyi Central senatorial zone comprises, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ezza South, and Ezza North local government areas.

The Afikpo bloc comprises Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo local government areas. (NAN)

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