Why I refused to support Umahi for Ebonyi governorship – Ex-Gov. Elechi

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martin-elechiThe immediate former governor of Ebonyi State, Martin Elechi on Thursday explained why he backed former Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, as his successor instead of his erstwhile deputy and current governor, David Umahi.

He said the governor lacked the spirit of accommodation and other qualities necessary for a person occupying such position.

The former governor spoke at his country home, Echialike Ikwo, to journalists ahead of a thanksgiving church service organized by former members of his state executive council and former council chairmen and friends.

“I have no apologies to anybody or to any group of people for what happened. I still stick to my conscience and to my belief that what I did in that circumstance is what I should do,” he said.

“Yes I made my point clear to him (Umahi) as early as September 2014 that I wouldn’t support him because my observation showed me that he lacked certain qualities that we hold very high and very dear in governance; the spirit of accommodation.

“That whether you are in opposition or in government you have a right to be protected, you have a right to say your mind and somebody who opposed you was not necessarily your enemy or your opponent.

“We believe that everybody has the right to differ and if you don’t accommodate people’s quest to differ, it is a major minus to you in governance. But having said so, your destiny is your destiny, I have no control over your destiny, if it is God’s wish that you become governor then you will be,” Mr. Elechi said.

“That is my position, but whether that is appreciated or not, that it is a statement of fact, that it is a statement of sincerity, I do not know.”

He lamented that instead of enjoying a quiet retirement after his service to the state, his freedom has been curtailed as he now lives in bondage, having to face 54 petitions before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Elechi, who suggested his former deputy and present governor, Mr. Umahi as the source of his ordeal, stated that he is currently on bail, and has been restricted to his home and frequent invitation to Abuja to respond to EFCC queries.

According to him, his major offense may have been his decision to anoint someone else as against his former deputy as his choice of successor in office, an action he said, triggered series of political manoeuvres that pitched him against Mr. Umahi who had support from the federal government and the party hierarchy.

He said that due to manipulations and total disregard to the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) constitution and disrespect to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s directives, the end of the battle was predictable as he was overwhelmed by the array of federal forces during the party primaries and the subsequent general elections.

Mr. Elechi however contended that there was indeed, ”no real elections in Ebonyi state” as according to him, everything was stage-managed and skewed against his choice candidates using federal might.

He insisted that he had no regrets for his actions, and that he would still take same decisions and actions if given another opportunity with similar circumstances.

He said the question of forgiving those that might have wronged him, especially some of his trusted aides that dumped him at the moment of crisis, does not arise.

According to him, it was for those people to seek forgiveness if they felt that what they did was wrong and out of vengeance, because for him, he did not feel anybody wronged him by acting in line with their conscience and what they believed was the right course of action.

He nonetheless believed that pecuniary interests could have influenced some peoples’ course of action.

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