By Wisdom Nwedene, Abakaliki
Governor David Nweze Umahi’s led administration is currently in an era of “love letter” in Ebonyi State following a letter written by the former secretary of the State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh over a 2 billion naira Agric Loan allegedly looted by him (Odoh) when he was in office.
In the letter seen by 9news Nigeria correspondent, Odoh said his former Boss, Umahi is suffering from “whimsical amnesia” for accusing him of embezzling the 2 billion naira Agric Loan
In his words,
“It is either that Governor Umahi is now suffering from whimsical amnesia to have forgotten his unchallenged, detailed and factual reply to a query on the above subject matter since May 2018 (just few weeks after his resignation), when he made the said prompt response, or he has simply elevated his lying and prevaricating dispositions on virtually every issue in Ebonyi State to an art!”
HOW IT Started
During a recent state-wide broadcast monitored by 9news Nigeria, Umahi accused the former SSG of embezzling 2 billion naira Agric Loan.
He said : “One of the times the critic in Ebonyi State, who was holding a very high position, supervised the N2bn. And he used ghost workers to supervise the N2bn. It’s not recovered. He didn’t even give it to his people, but he claims that he loves his people.”
The former secretary to the State Government who resigned before the 2019 general election however denied the accusation.
He said ” After my bold resignation on April 2nd 2018, (reasons for which I also audaciously made public) in my viral letter, I wish to place on record that I received a letter from the Ebonyi State Government requesting me to explain and give account of the disbursement and recovery of the loan facility for farmers under the CBN Agric loan policy, which the Ebonyi State Government got the sum of N2bn.”
“As the Chairman of the EXCO Committee that was set up to oversee the scheme, I did not hesitate for a moment before issuing my response via my memo, which, for purposes of clarity, I have chosen to reproduce…….”
However, the statement which did not go down well with Governor Umahi’s camp made his Commissioner for Information, Barrister Orji Uchenna Orji to reply the former SSG.
The letter which the Commissioner tagged ” THE LOVE LETTER OF PROF IFEANYICHUKWU ODOH AND THE TALE OF A MAN WITH INORDINATE AMBITION” has been criticized by many Ebonyians.
In his own “love letter” seen by Igbere TV correspondent, the Commissioner said Prof. Odoh had not even a plot of land before he was appointed.
The letter reads in parts, “you were living in a rented flat at a place near Nsugbe within 3 months of your appointment. But all of a sudden you secured a very wonderful abode,I mean paradise on Earth near Miles 50 Abakaliki and numerous other investments before you left office. I know it’s with your salary as SSG”
“I am only advising you to stop bringing ostracism to your own organism. You might think you are smart or that you are currying or savouring cheap popularity from gullible persons but that is short-lived. That will rather expose your unwanted and most dangerous idiosyncratic tendencies to people and that is potentially morally damning.”
“I will take time to comprehensively reply you in your love letter to the His Excellency the Governor of Ebonyi State and your derogatory expressions about a man who is older than your age, most distinguished in his discipline, career, vocation and calling as Governor of your state.I am talking of a man who made you and I to speak with our heads high as Ebonyi people, who have been delivered from the shackles of inferiority complex and underdevelopment; who gave you the first tarred road to your father’s house.”
“Everything is not politics, but let it be known by you that our dear Governor is being celebrated by the nation and the world as the best in life changing programmes in the areas of Infrastructure and human capital Development and no amount of falsehood can replace the truth. No amount of suppression of truth can cover excellence which the administration of Governor Umahi is known for…….”
However, many critics have lambasted the Commissioner for issuing such a statement.
In the same vein, the People’s Democratic Party Chairman, Barr. Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, has equally blasted the former SSG and described him as ungrateful person.
He revealed that his appointment was a great mistake and the party will never allow such to happen again.
His own letter reads in parts;
“The mischievous rantings and continued malignment of the governor of Ebonyi State by the former secretary to Ebonyi State Government, Prof. Benard Odoh is the clearest show of ingratitude. The appointment of Prof. Benard Odoh as the SSG in 2015 by the governor, during his inauguration, was praised as a very uncommon show of magnanimity. But those who know Odoh very well pitied the governor. The PDP held that the governor’s action of giving his first appointment to an opposition party senatorial candidate, who was hitherto unknown to Ebonyi politics is a wrong step at the start. But the governor, in spite of heavy criticisms from allies maintained that he is the governor of Ebonyi State not of the PDP alone. The PDP was particularly unhappy with that appointment from the outset. The ugliest part of it was that he failed to register with the PDP after the appointment and remained so till he ran away when he was not being pursued. That appointment was a great mistake and the party will never allow such to happen again. To get such a sensitive appointment, one most not only be a bona-fide member of the PDP who shares the party’s ideology, but also one with impeccable character and requisite experience. “
“Prof. Odoh displayed a high level of incompetence in that position. Given that he lacked knowledge of bureaucratic principles which characterize the office, governor Umahi instead of relieving him of the job which he was unfit for, decided to post to him technical staff who have good knowledge of the workings of that office. Yet, Prof. Benard Odoh could not hide his true color for long. He still held deep-seated resentment against his greatest benefactor.”
“It is quite unfortunate that a man who assumed office when he was a tenant in a rented apartment but in less than two years had built mansions in the state capital and in his hometown claims he is not corrupt. It is ridiculous that a public office holder who was queried on the disbursement of funds he superintended over, quickly made public a malicious cum resignation letter without first submitting it to the person who appointed him.
If Prof. Odoh claims he is unblemished, he should explain why he rather chose to abdicate his position at the issuance of a query instead of responding appropriately to the query…… “