I’m not behind your EFCC travails, Umahi tells Elechi

By Mathew Orji, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi has washed his hands of the travails of his immediate predecessor in office, Chief Martin Elechi.

Specifically in a statement issued by the state government on Friday, the governor denied insinuation that he headed the Executive Council Committee on Inspection during his (Elechi) second tenure as governor.

Speaking with clerics in Umuahia on Friday, the governor said the state executive council had agreed to ignore a letter written to it by Elechi but since the former governor had decided to make it public, it was necessary to put the facts correct.

He said, “I would not have commented on the letter of my former boss if it had not been published… We agreed in the Exco that we should ignore it but when I started seeing it published, I felt that in a public gathering like this, we have to clear some certain issues.”

The governor however explained that he was sometimes drafted to a monitoring team if there were engineering difficulties in some projects during Elechi’s tenure.

He mentioned some of them as the Oferekpe water project and the Agba bridge which he said that his involvement helped to save the state a whopping N1.6bn.

He emphasized that vehicles were purchased for for former governors, including Elechi and a former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.

Umahi said rejecting the car was not the best option as Elechi had written to him shortly  after he left office  to give his wife two cars which he  obliged.

He also faulted where the former governor said in the letter that  he never advised him.

His words:  “How can I advise somebody who does not take advice and never changed his mind when he says something?

“I advised him on the issue of NigerCem and the clergymen also did which by now, Ibeto would have revived the company but he refused.”

Umahi said some of the petitions that had made Elechi a regular visitor to the  EFCC were  written when both of them  were in government as  governor and deputy governor  “by someone who is now  in his (Elechi) camp.”

Insisting that his administration never wrote any petition against the former governor, he said he had personally appealed to the EFCC to leave Elechi alone because of his age.

He said he also told the commission that if Elechi was found wanting in anyway, he would  pay back. He however added that Elechi’s children who were involved in contract scams would have to answer for their actions.

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