Mr. Linus Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives, who represented Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo federal constituency has tasked the outgoing governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi to acknowledge how he (Okorie) made the arrangement and connection that led to his (Umahi) becoming governor of the State in 2014.
Okorie who toppled as the Senatorial candidate of Labour Party, LP, for Ebonyi South senatorial zone in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections that were held on 25th, February, 2023.
The former member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Okorie, who has dragged the outgoing governor Umahi and the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the election petition tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, vowed that he will retrieve his alleged stolen mandate from the governor.
Umahi is the senator-elect for Ebonyi South senatorial zone.
Okorie had alleged that the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC, stole his mandate and gave it to Umahi.
According to him: “I got connected to the family of the former President Goodluck Jonathan, within my very 1st tenure in the House of Representatives. I was close enough by the Grace of God, that I had ears at a very important point.
“And as late as February, 2014, the issue of who becomes the governor of Ebonyi state was raised by me and taken by me to the first family. I was the one who made the arrangement and the connection, the introduction of David Umahi as the deputy governor to the then Jonathan family.
“I had the chance to run for governor. I had the chance to run for the ticket of PDP governorship in Ebonyi state in 2015. Only the will of God, will ultimately give power to whom He wants to give power. But if I did, Umahi wouldn’t have gotten to where he is today because a lot of the effort that made him (Umahi) was mine and that of my wife.
“Umahi has never come out to say that I (Okorie) helped him to become the governor of Ebonyi State. He is not talking about it. Is it only him (Umahi) that gives, why doesn’t he acknowledge what others did for him. I will never fail to appreciate what he did for me in 2011. Can he (Umahi) acknowledge what I did for him to become governor? I will not tell the story of what he (Umahi) did as he became governor.”
Okorie lamented that Umahi after assuming power, especially in 2020, started to work on how to bring him down.
“It took governor David Umahi six (6) years and that was November 2020, when he decamped to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that he (Umahi) called me (Okorie) and apologized for hurting me for the past 6 years.
“I was driving to attend a meeting in Abuja, when he called me. I asked him what happened? He told me that he was with Jonathan and his wife last night, and they told him (Umahi) that it was not even Senator Pius Anyim, that made him governor, that it was I (Okorie) and my wife, that made them (Jonathan) support him (Umahi). That he didn’t know, that he is sorry. That night, he (Umahi) told me (Okorie) that I should join him in the APC. And that he will send me back to the National Assembly as a House of Representatives member.
“And that he (Umahi) will sponsor everything, and that he has intimated the first family, which he did. To cut the story, the first family called me and told me what he (Umahi) had discussed with them. And that he will give me an opportunity to nominate a commissioner or any other position if I will join him to the APC but I told him no. What I told the Jonathan family was that I will stay with Pius Anyim, because Anyim will tell you what he will do, or what he will not do.
“But I will not join David Umahi because he will promise you heaven and earth, and at the end, he will succeed in not doing anything for you. That I better stay, if you like, the devil I know is better than the angel I know not. These are the things that have transpired between me and him (Umahi) since 2020. I won’t bother to tell you about what he (Umahi) did concerning my ticket in 2019.
“It was all about to stop me running for Senate, that I was abducted by Ebubeagu security operatives on October 16, 2022. From there, I was tortured, stripped naked, videoed in public, dehumanized and from there, thrown to prison on trumped-up charges of murder. Murder charges of people who are already in trials, those people were charged by DSS, six (6) months before my abduction. What did they do?They took the same charge sheet and cleaned the names of those people and entered my name. And gave it to police to go and charge me
“And while I was in Ebubeagu office at the old government house Abakaliki, being tortured, the question they were asking me was that, why will I be running for the Ebonyi south senatorial seat position with the governor, David Umahi? That’s the only question they were asking me. I have paid Umahi back in a million folds. He has done me good and I have done him a great favour. And he (Umahi) knows this very well” he stressed.