Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), yesterday, came down hard on World Igbo Youth Council (WIYC), for ruling out Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, for a second term in office.
Few days ago, WIYC had called on Abias not to re-elect Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
However, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, OYC said it was time faceless groups stopped stoking embers of crisis in Igbo land.
The group noted that it knows the people behind the media attack on Ikpeazu and described the discourse on 2019 Abia governorship election as premature, sponsored by desperate politicians to distract the governor.
“We have followed closely, the World Igbo Youth Council and so we know those behind the mask; we know their paymasters. However, we want to make it categorically clear that this is not the time for any form of politicking, more so as the Independent National Electoral Electoral has not lifted the ban on political campaigns.
“In addition, the World Igbo Youth Council has no locus standi to decide the political fate of governor Ikpeazu in 2019. Only the people of Abia state reserve that right and nobody can take if from them.
“It is, therefore, not just illegal but criminal for any group to start talking about who will occupy the Abia Government House in 2019.
“We caution that we will not allow desperate politicians, who want power through the back-door to destabilize Abia State. If they don’t stop fortwith, we shall in the next 7 days publish names of all the people behind that and other media attacks aimed at distracting Governor Ikpeazu from focusing on continuing to deliver laudable dividends of democracy to Abians.
“While the Ohanaeze Youth Council lauds Ikpeazu for his efforts at industrialising Abia state, promoting Made-in-Aba brands and unmatched infrastructure development efforts in the state, we urge political calm in the state, especially after the politically-motivated military assault on the state which threatened to snowball into a national catastrophe, if not for the crises management dexterity of the governor.
“It is important to note that we also undertook discreet investigation of the deployment of various intervention funds received by Abia government and we found out that Abia state received the following intervention funds from FG: Bailout fund-N14.2 billion; Paris Club debt refund (Tranche 1) N10.6 billion and Paris Club debt refund (Tranche 2) N5.7 billion
“Abia state government constituted a committee made up of the different labour Union leaders; namely NLC, TUC, NULGE, NUP, NUT and Joint Negotiating Council. The committee took charge of the disbursement of the funds to various areas of greater needs and exigencies.
“Overall, Abia received N16.3 billion from the Paris Club refund and deployed N11.6 billion to service workers/pensioners wage bill.
“This translates to commitment of more than 71 percent of total receipt to service workers’ salaries and pension.
“The transparency of the exercise was applauded by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, which singled out Abia and two other states for their transparency in the disbursement and utilisation of the fund. So, we believe that Ikppeazu is on course.”
“At the appropriate time, we shall make our ratings public, not just on Ikpeazu but other governors in the South-East.”