The Ebonyi State APC gubernatorial hopeful, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji has described as pathetic and a disgrace the absence of Ebonyi at the national sports festival going on in Abuja now.
Ogbuoji expressed deep regret at the refusal of the state government led by Governor Dave Umahi to send Ebonyi contingents to the national event even when the state has abundant sports talents that need to be exposed and developed.
‘Years ago when the Nigerian women won silver at the U20 Women World Cup, the awesome and prestigious Ebonyi Angels had nine players in the squad, but today, the state is led by someone who doesn’t place any importance in the development of sports that has been the greatest unifying factor in the nation and a force in economic empowerment of the less privileged but talented citizens,
This is shame to the image of the state that among all the 36 states, only Ebonyi lacked the resources with an average of N2.8bn monthly allocation and other revenues, to afford to send contingents to an elite national festival that serves for development of the youths and affords them opportunity to create friendships nationwide.
‘This act is simply anti-youth and a sign that the government of Dave Umahi has no future or good wishes for the young ones of the states and he is never mindful of the image of the state before other states of the nation, or how else would you explain that only one state is missing among all other states of the federation.
“But sometime this week, a priest in Enugu announced that Umahi from the wealth of the state gave his church 1000 bags of Ebonyi rice, 10,000 tubers of yam and N10m cash.
‘We are aware of N500m donation he made also to a fluke group he calls the Divine Mandate Pastors in the state as subtle inducement to buy votes in the coming election. But there is no money, according to Umahi to redeem the image of the state before the entire nation and afford her the opportunity to be counted among others. I am simply ashamed that we have a government manned by people that have no sense of dignity.’
He regretted that ‘this despicable act is another unambiguous pointer that Umahi does not have the good of the state at heart and doesn’t show interest in anything about the state except the ones that directly benefit him.’
‘I therefore urge the young ones and all sports lovers and those that cherish the image of the state to vote Umahi out and save the state further damaging heartlessness.
‘We never had it so bad and can’t afford to have it worse than this, therefore, we have to make the right choice and make sure Umahi doesn’t remain in office to slosh further tar on the image of our dear state. ‘What happened to us the first time in our history is not about the lack of resources to send our contingents, a symbolism of the lack of sense of shame. Otherwise, how did the past governors of the state raise resources to ensure Ebonyi was counted in past national sports festivals?
I can never believe that the rest of the states of Nigeria are richer than Ebonyi to suffer this unmitigated disgrace and shame and this is one disrepute I promise Ebonyi can never suffer in my hands as governor.’