A group, the Southeast Watchdog, has accused David Umahi, Ebonyi State governor of conniving with vice chancellors of some state-owned universities in the zone to recruit 3rd and 4th year students as thugs to rig election in the state.
Brown Nwechem, coordinator of the group who made the allegation in a statement on Thursday, alleged that the Ebonyi governor is hatching plans to use the students to cause crisis and ensure that Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, is ‘imposed’ on the state.
The group said, “The Ebonyi state Governor Eng. David Umahi and his annointed son, the APC Governorship candidate in the state have concluded arrangements for the exploitation of 4th year and 3rd year undergraduates of a State University in one of the neighbouring South East states, with a view to recruiting the students to work as enforcers and thugs for the APC Governorship candidate, Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru.
“They have contacted the Vice-Chancellor of the said state University who is believed to be in cahoots with them as they marshall out plans to rig the 2023 elections in the state.
“Gov. Umahi and Nwifuru have equally contacted the head of a strategic Federal Government Youth Institution to use the Youths as Ad-Hoc Staff of INEC exercises. These set are intended to help them manipulate the forthcoming general elections in the state in favour of the APC.
“Let us recall that the APC and its agents, on the orders of Gov. Umahi have been involved in the collection PVC’s Serial Numbers (proactive vote buying)from voters in the rural areas. They want to use the PVCs and the Serial Numbers to rig the elections even before the polls, with the active connivance of INEC bad eggs.
“They have boasted that they must corner INEC to assist them rig elections. We have already called on the general public to beware of the antics of Gov. Umahi and his fellow travelers and to resist their manipulations by standing firm.
“Gov Umahi has become restless because if his dwindling popularity and the rising of Ebonyi state poverty threshold which made the state the 4th poorest state in Nigeria and the poorest state in Southern Nigeria.
“Our duty is to update you on Gov Umahi’s survivalist strategies and his endgame preoccupations. All their evil plans will be exposed and blocked at the appropriate time. He and his selected APC candidates will soon be rounded up and voted against in the 2023 elections. His Senatorial ambition is now effectively put in check. He is not going to the Senate as he claims. Let us wait and see.”