A prominent founding father in Ebonyi State, Chief Hyacinth Ikpor has said that despite the court case instituted against David Umahi by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the governor’s defection last year to All Progressives Congress (APC), the governor cannot be distracted from pursuing his developmental agenda for the state.
Ikpor, who stated this in an interview with journalists, said when the time comes to replace David Umahi, Ebonyians would decide who to succeed him, adding that, there was no time tout would take over from the incumbent governor.
He added that if not to merely distract the governor from his passion to develop the state, why did the PDP not go to court since last year November the governor defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC)
He said, “The creation of Ebonyi State is a necessity for even development. I thank God Ebonyi State was eventually created. As God would have it, the dreams of the founding fathers came true, we now have somebody like the person of David Umahi, who has now transformed Ebonyi State within five to six years.
“The even development we were talking of as that time, he has actualized it, because from Abakaliki to any local government headquarters is tarred with concrete.
“Now that he is the governor and has performed beyond expectations. We can see the infrastructure in place. We are in March, a year now , there will be election to occupy David Umahi’s seat. At that time, we shall now know and go for who will be the kind of person who will take over the party from him to continue with these legacies. At that time, we shall not be looking for touts to come to Ebonyi State to destroy all that we have achieved.
“That brings me to the person of David Umahi. Yes he won election on the platform of PDP and he started working and Nov 16 2020, he left PDP. People were asking why did you defect , he said that he has seen that this PDP doesn’t have agenda for the Igbo man.
“That this PDP do not have the intention of Igbo man becoming the president. That time people were saying it was too early. But what he said at time is what all of you are witnessing today. It is coming to pass that PDP do not have intention to filed an Igbo president. Because he left PDP they are not happy because they lost such big fish.
“But since then, PDP did not go to court at that time. It is now that they go to court because they want to distract him or forestall his presidential ambition. As a founding father of the state, their plans will not come to pass. David Umahi will reamin in office till 2023. Those who are wishing to takeover from him should go and prepare. When that time comes, we shall know who to vote for.
“We also know that governor and his deputy have immunity. You can’t sue any of them while in office. Why is is it that they ignore this absolute immunity granted to them by the Nigeria constitution to sue them.
“It is all part of their hidden agenda. And section 308 of the Nigeria constitution gives absolute immunity to the president, vice president, governor and deputy governor until they finish their tenure, you cannot take them to court. That is the Nigeria constitution and the electoral law which supercedes any other law in Nigeria.
“By ignoring that, they have taken them to court. Defection is not one of the conditions for removing a sitting governor or deputy. If you want to remove a governor or deputy, you go via impeachment. We have many cases at the appeal and supreme court level showing a governor can defect without loosing his office. Atiku Abubakar defected and the case was contested to supreme court and he won and retained his seat.
“What PDP is trying to do is to distract us here and there. I am using this opportunity to tell all Ebonyians to stand firm and support David Umahi to finish his tenure. At that time, we shall now know who to replace him.
“If you are governor of a state when you win election, as a governor, you are a governor for all. What is wrong that the governor jumped out because PDP has no program for Igbo people. And we are seeing it now”, Ikpor reinterated.