A viral video circulating in social media since Wednesday evening has brought lots of condemnations and criticisms on the present administration in Ebonyi State.
The video, which was recorded at the site of the Airport Project in Ezza South and Ezza North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State, allegedly showcased Governor David Umahi directing men in military uniforms to flog some civil servants in the state.
Their offences at the time were not clear even as many speculated that it could border on dereliction of duty and corrupt practices.
The incident took quite some time before motorists and passersby were allowed to go about their normal businesses as the victims numbering about 10 were seen in an agonizing state of mind and body.
Vanguard investigation revealed that two prominent civil servants, an Accountant, and Cashier that were allegedly flogged, work with the Ministry of Infrastructure Maintenance and Concession in the state.
Reacting to the development, Orji Uchenna Orji, Commissioner for Information and State Orientation who described the video as doctored footage explained that no civil servant was flogged in the state.
Orji said: “Our attention has been drawn to a doctored footage purporting to be civil servants rolling on the ground and being flogged by security personnel in the presence of the Governor of Ebonyi State while on inspection at the Government House gate, Abakaliki and shared widely in different social media platforms and accepted hook, line and sinker by the gullible.
“We wish to inform members of the public that the purported footage is a video manipulation of an aborted attempt by miscreants to block the Airport gate and inflict fear on those working at the ongoing International Airport and possibly embarrass the Governor who was on a routine inspection visit to the Airport project, in the guise that they were enforcing sit-at-home- order at the premises of the Airport on Tuesday, 4th September 2022.
“Contrary to the fake report that the incident happened at the gate of the Government House in Abakaliki while the Governor was on supervision, the miscreants were dispelled at the gate of the new Airport under construction. It is to be noted that no civil servants or employees whatsoever have been recruited to work in the Airport and so, no civil servant was flogged at the Airport gate, contrary to the impression in the trending report. We are therefore surprised at the basis of the unintelligent fabrications of the mischief makers.
“There is no amount of blackmail that can distract the performing Governor of Ebonyi State, David Nweze Umahi who had visited the Airport to carry out his routine inspection of projects as regular inspection of projects is one the reasons why we pride on quality assurance in our policy of monitoring and evaluation in government businesses.
“Members of the public are therefore enjoined to discountenance the manipulated trending video as the handiwork of enemies of progress.”
However, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Chika Nwoba, said, “Governor David Umahi ordering his military security men to beat workers in Ebonyi State, shows the state is becoming a junta of a regime.
“Umahi is becoming a military ruler in a democracy. His APC gubernatorial candidate, Francis Nwifuru is watching and probably learning the art of brutish governance.”