Coalition of opposition political parties in Ebonyi state petitions Gov Umahi over muzzling of campaign


By Goodluck Ikiebe

The Ebonyi State chapter of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has petitioned the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr David Umahi to rescind his Executive order 3 and regulations banning opposition political parties from campaigning in the state.

The group at a news conference on Friday in Abakaliki called on the Governor to ensure that a free space is granted to all and sundry, stressing that his acts negates ethos of Constitutional democracy.

The Chairman of the chapter, Engr Chinedum Elekwachi, explained that the Governor has set 31st December, 2022 as deadline for him to start enforcing the regulations, adding that the governor as the father of the state should be conscious of his body language.

The speech reads,

(Being The Text Of A Press conference by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP)Ebonyi state Held In Abakaliki on 30th December,2022)

  1. The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) Ebonyi state Chapter notes the continuous abuse cum attack on the opposition political parties and orders of the state government all in a bid to frustrate the 2023 general election in the state by the Ebonyi State Government. Cases in point are; The dethronement of the traditional ruler of Ukawu community, His Royal Highness Japhet Ikegwu because he recieved the Governorship Candidate of APGA on a courtesy call; The proclamation of December 31,2022 as deadline by Governor Umahi for allowing posters of the opposition Political Parties in the state, The comment made by the state Chairman of the traditional rulers council, HRH Charles Mkpuma on Wednesday 28 December,2022 during the Senatorial flaggoff campaign of Governor Umahi that anybody that stands against the Senatorial ambition of the governor will not see next Christmas; The avoidable riot that occured on 27th December, 2022, which claimed innocent lives including that of a police officer in Ekoli Edda that was caused by a physical fight between the House Of Representatives Candidate of APC, Mr Eni Uduma and the state Chairman of the party, who doubles too as security consultant of the deadly Ebubeagu security outfit; The attack on members and supporters of APGA in Ugwulangwu on 24th December, 2022 by identified thugs loyal to the APC as led by the Development centre coordinator of Ohaozara East.
  2. That all these incidences that happened in Ebonyi state negate ethos of Constitutional democracy and constitute threat to a peaceful election in Ebonyi state. Imagine where a traditional ruler seating on a sacred stool is disgraced out of office because he merely recieved a candidate from the opposition party? Coalition of United Political Party have severally condemned this and maintain that there’s no justification whatsoever for that.
  3. We are also worried that the state government is bent in stopping opposition Political Parties from pasting campaign posters and billboards by trying to enforce an obnoxious and discarded law made in 2008, which the Governor Umahi never gave recourse to when he campaigned both in 2015 and 2019.
  4. It is deceitful and laughable for the state government to have claimed to have fined the APC a sum of five million naira(5,000,00.00) only for pasting posters and billboards in what the Government referred as state infrastructure when APC alone has more than two hundred billboard stands in Abakaliki.

“To us, it is a gimmick to hoodwink people in grandstanding the operation of the malicious regulation of the state government”.

  1. CUPP Ebonyi state again condemn the restrictions placed by the Governor of Ebonyi State through Executive order Number 3. Of 2022 on public gatherings and use of public spaces for Campaigns. Such ban tantamounts to an ambush on the democratic process and a deliberate attempt to frustrate the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general election in Ebonyi state.
  2. The operation of section 1(3) of the 1999 CFRN(as amended) does permit that rights expressly conferred on Ebonyi people by both the Nigerian consutition and Electoral Act 2022 be taken away or encumbered via a malicious Executive order.
    Governor Umahi is hereby advised to respect the Nigerian consutition, which he swore to protect by immediately withdrawing and reversing his offensive executive order.
  3. Governor Umahi is once more reminded that his body language as the father of state now all be embracing, peaceful and disposition of high level of political tolerance.
    “He must ensure that free space is provided for all the political parties in the state and should have a rethink on his set deadline of 31st December, 2022”, the statement concluded.