The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, has on Wednesday sacked two local government development centre coordinators in continuation of his sacking spree since he changed parties.
Okorie Daniel of Ivo DC and Fabian Ivoke of Echiele DC got the boot after refusing to endorse the communique they considered defamatory of a former Senate President, Pius Anyim.
Mr Anyim was an ally of Mr Umahi until the governor moved to the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on November 20.
Leaders of Ivo council had gathered on Wednesday in Abakaliki to endorse the defection of the governor.
The meeting was attended by present and former members of the National Assembly, State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council, members of federal and state boards and commissions and council chairpersons from the council.
Also at the meeting were vice chairpersons, leaders of Ivo Legislative Council, coordinators of development centres, chieftains of the APC, traditional rulers and town union presidents.
In the communique read by the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, the leaders expressed their total support for Mr Umahi and dissociated themselves from the activities of Mr Anyim, who is from Ivo LGA.
“We, the good people of Ivo Local Government Area dissociate ourselves from the activities of our son from Ishiagu Community who is fronting for People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the wish of Ivo people and we hereby state that he is on his own and does not have the support of us in Ivo Local Government Area”.
“That despite having him as Senate President for about three years and Secretary to the Government of the Federation for four years, no form of infrastructure or human empowerment was attracted to any part of Ivo Local Government Area let alone South East, except crisis and killings of innocent people. Our people were impoverished.”
It was this part of the communique that angered some persons at the meeting, including the two sacked coordinators who refused to sign the communique.
Briefing journalists later, Mr Okorie said the communique was dictated to the meeting.
“The meeting was to articulate our position on the issue but at the tail end of the meeting, a communique was brought from somewhere defaming the person of Senator Anyim.
“We can have different political ideologies or support the governor or any other person we want to support, but not to come and start defaming Anyim. We can play our politics without insulting our elders,” he said.
Following the incident, the two coordinators were relieved of their duties as heads of the two development centres.
“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr David Nweze Umahi, has approved the removal from office of the following Coordinators of Development Centres in Ebonyi State: Okorie Daniel (Ivo D/C) and Fabian Ivoke (Echiele D/C),” a statement by the secretary to the state government, Kenneth Ụgbala, said.
“Consequently, the two former officials are directed to hand over all government property in their possession to the Secretary to the State Government/Coordinating Commissioner before the close of work on Thursday, 26th November, 2020”,the statement added.
Mr Umahi has been sacking his officials since last week in the wake of his defection on November 20.
Last week, he sacked all LGA development centre coordinators, executive assistants, senior technical assistants, technical assistants, liaison officers and management committee members of development centres from Oriaku LGA.
A former governor of the state and serving senator, Sam Egwu, who assumed the leadership of the PDP after Mr Umahi’s defection, hails from the local government.
The governor also sacked four of his technical assistants on Saturday for dereliction of duty.They include Cletus Ogbonna, John Osi, Tochukwu Ali and Olachi Arua.
On Tuesday he dissolved the governing boards of the Ebonyi State University and Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo.
The two boards are headed by Franklin Ogbuewu and a former Minister of State for Health, Fidelis Nwankwo, respectively.
The governor also sacked 16 technical assistants for “dereliction of duty.”