TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY CHIEF ALI ODEFA, THE ACTING NATIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN, PDP SOUTHEAST DELIVERED IN ENUGU ON MONDAY DECEMBER 7, 2020 AT THE PDP ZONAL OFFICE, ENUGU
Good afternoon Gentlemen of the Press and thank you for attending this world press conference.
- We have called you here to introduce to you the new leadership of the Southeast Zonal Working Committee of the PDP led by my humble self, Chief Ali Odefa, the newly appointed as the National Vice Chairman, Southeast.
- We the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have noted with deep concern the alarming and unfounded statements made by the Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Chief David Umahi which he specifically targeted at the leaders of the PDP in Ebonyi State wherein Governor Umahi had threatened that “lives will be lost” in Ebonyi state. The very unfortunate statements emanated from a press conference the Governor hosted by the Governor on Friday 27th, November 2020 at the Old Government House, Abakaliki.
- It is worrisome that a Governor of a state who is supposedly the Chief Security Officer of the state will blatantly threaten that “lives” of citizens of his own state “will be lost,” even when there is no aggression to suggest a war in the state.
- We at the PDP particularly note with serious concern the specific listing of our party leaders, Including their Excellencies, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Former President of the Senate and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Senator Sam Ominyi Egwu, the first Executive Governor of Ebonyi state, and lawmaker representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District in the Senate; Senator Obinna Ogba, the lawmaker representing Ebonyi Central Senatorial District in the Senate and Hon. (Chief) Ali Odefa, the National Vice Chairman, Southeast of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and many other leaders of our party whom by Governor Umahi’s utterances he may have already marked for assassination in Ebonyi State.
- It is important to draw the attention of the Nigerian public to the fact that the false alarm raised by Governor Umahi is totally baseless as there is no political crisis in Ebonyi state, there is no immediate election contest in Ebonyi state, in fact, there is no situation that warrants the kind of threat he issued in Ebonyi State.
- It is a common knowledge that Governor Umahi and his family remain the major beneficiaries of the support of the PDP and these same PDP leaders whom he has suddenly branded promoters of cultists in Ebonyi; each of these leaders played prominent roles in making Umahi a successful politician and Governor of Ebonyi state.
- For the Records, Chief Umahi until he jumped ship to the APC became everything he is in Ebonyi cum Nigeria politics in PDP, while his two brothers, Mr. Austin Umahi and Maxwell Umahi were Zonal Chairman and Deputy State Chairman of the PDP respectively. Under the PDP Federal Government, Gen. Obi Umahi enjoyed accelerated promotion and appointment in the Nigeria Army.
- On the unfounded and infantile allegations Governor Umahi has leveled against the afore mentioned leaders of the PDP in Ebonyi State, the questions the world should be asking Umahi is at what point did he realize that I, Chief Ali Odefa and other leaders he so maligned with his baseless allegation were promoters of IPOB and cultists?
- Could it have been in 2007 when I started working closely with him, first as Special Assistant (while he was the Chairman of the PDP, Ebonyi state) or during the well known struggle to make him a governor in 2014/2015 election season? Or could it have been at the inception of his government in 2015 when I served in his government as the SSA Internal Security? Or Perhaps between 2016 and early 2020 when I served as the SSA Infrastructural Maintenance in his government?
- It is instructive to call attention of Nigerians to the sinister scheme that the Governor is planning which he has veneered under the cloak of “allegation” that leaders of the PDP in Ebonyi State were sponsors of cultists and IPOB; Umahi has concluded plans to embark on a massive political witch-hunt and assassination spree in Ebonyi State with leaders of the PDP being his primary targets!
- It is important to let the entire world and specifically, Governor Umahi know that the PDP has since moved on after his lone wolf decamping from our great party to his new party the APC and we happily urge him to move on and focus on playing his politics in the APC. It is NOT possible for him to be in the APC and run the affairs of the PDP in Ebonyi state. We will deploy every legal arsenal to protect the sovereignty of our party, the PDP from meddlesome interlopers.
- The PDP is a firm believer in the freedom of choice of individuals. We therefore, urge Governor Umahi to “live and let live” in Ebonyi state, as we strongly call on him to abandon his evil plans of labeling our supporters “cultists” and “IPOB” as a bait to incite security agencies against our members. There is no justification for this evil plan of Governor Umahi. Governor Umahi’s grand plan has already been activated in his Local Government Area, Ohaozara, where the Council Chairman on Friday December 3rd , 2020 falsely alleged that some PDP members and supporters in Ugwulangwu community were the “masterminds and IPOB” members who attacked police stations in Ebonyi state during the EndSARS protest in the. As we speak those innocent youths who are well known in Ugwulangwu community as hardworking and responsible citizens have been taken away by security operatives on the orders of the Governor’s proxy, the local government Chairman.
- In Ebonyi State, the residents know exactly those who promote cultism; it is important to bring to the notice of the public that in the last few months some key functionaries of Governor Umahi’s government have been involved in murder cases in Ebonyi state and are currently in detention. While one is still being investigated by the police the second one is already being tried in the court.
- To buttress Umahi’s grand plan to unleash terror on PDP supporters in Ebonyi State, a member of the PDP, Chinedu Nwode and his fiancée were pointedly shot and killed, execution style, by a top government official for refusing to shout “APC” at an event in his Oriuzor community in Ezza North local government of the state.
- We in the PDP are aware of the despotic tendencies of Governor Umahi to clamp down on dissenting voices, we therefore, would urge him to thread with caution as we are resolved as equal stakeholders in the affairs of Ebonyi state to continue to work for the progress of the state.
- We are therefore, using this medium to call on various security agencies in Ebonyi State to take note and ensure that the lives of these prominent Nigerians with track record of patriotic service to the Nigerian nation and Ebonyi state in particular are protected from the marauding foot soldiers of Governor Umahi who will stop at nothing to satisfy their pay master.
- Let me also assure the supporters and members of the PDP in Ebonyi state that they should remain calm and go about their normal businesses without fear as we are ready as a party to employ all legal means to protect their rights as Nigerians and the electorate.
Chief Ali Odefa
Acting National Vice Chairman, PDP, Southeast