By Barr. Emeka Nwode
To the fans of football, or soccer as it is called in some climes, the award of a penalty kick marks a turning point in a football match. It can either signal the consolidation of victory, a levelling up or a condemnation to defeat, depending on the standing of the respective teams involved. In all, it is an inexorably critical point in a football match.
Ebonyi State has come to that point in its history that will either herald a politically stable, socially upwardly mobile and economically viable future or a regrettable reversal of fortune in its stride to greatness as a State.
The actions, inaction and utterances of most political players from the State, especially on the security situation in State, clearly denotes those in favour of the growth and progress of the State and those that are bent on sacrificing the image, integrity, potentials and growth of the State on the altar of egoistic politics.
The past six years of the administration of His Excellency, Engr. (Chief) David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, have conferred on the State a prime position in the consideration of well informed financial analysts and favourable reviews by global corporate growth experts.
This status was not attained by happenstance. It is not accidental; it is the natural result of deliberate and measured policies and actions of the Governor.
The catalytic infrastructural development of Ebonyi Stated has been made possible by the clement security climate that pervades the State. The recent frail attempts by political bucaneers to obliterate the hard earned reputation of Ebonyi State as the most peaceful, accommodating and investment friendly State through sponsored campaign of calumny is most unfortunate and very nauseating.
Specifically, it is quite unfortunate and disheartening that in a bid to rekindle a rapidly dwindling political relevance, some self serving persons who have adopted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a launch pad have drifted into a frenzy of smearing the corporate image of Ebonyi State and the identity of its indigenes as hardworking, sincere and reliable people all in a bid to carve out a semblance of functional opposition.
The social and mainstream media are being flooded with falsehoods and elevated half truths by the leadership of the PDP in Ebonyi State and their hirelings who, mostly, do not understand the implications their unpatriotic and unguarded tirades.
Whereas there has been a studious silence by the Peoples Democratic Party, Ebonyi State Chapter, on the security challenges that recently infiltrated some parts of the State, the attack on security agents and their facilities, the inter and intra communal clashes that predate the present administration of Governor Umahi, the same opposition PDP leaders suddenly found their voices are now screaming themselves hoarse over one Amos Ogbonna, an acclaimed member of PDP who was allegedly kidnapped in circumstances that are still shrouded in a self induced controversy.
While any act that circumscribes the fundamental human rights of any citizen is condemnable, the elevation of this single and isolated case over and above many other security issues that affect the vast majority of Ebonyi people is unconscionable, sinister, insensitive, irresponsible and inexcusable.
The only justification of this stance may be found in the endorsement of violence by the Peoples Democratic Party, South East Zone. The enthronment of a character whose only known credential is his propensity to induce, promote and personally indulge in acts of violence as its National Vice Chairman, South East Zone lends credence to a widely held view that the PDP has a warped affinity with violence. The invasion of the home of a hapless neighbour by armed thugs personally led by this fellow who was recorded bullying an innocent lady in the process without a whimper of condemnation by the Party till date is a cause for profound concern.
This position is further reinforced by the recent outcry of the PDP over the establishment of a people oriented security platform, the EBUBEAGU SECURITY NETWORK, by the South East States Governors and domesticated by the Government of Ebonyi State.
The arrest of about thirty seven hoodlums who have confessed to a mission to, simultaneously, cause havoc in many parts of the State by the Ikwo Local Government Area command of the EBUBEAGU SECURITY NETWORK is a verifiable inestimable achievement of this outfit within a very short time of its inauguration. The agitation of the PDP against this lives saving and stabilizing masterstroke by Governor Umahi is palpably intriguing.
In all, a lot of efforts and resources have been committed by the Governor Umahi led administration to salvage Ebonyi people from the socio-economic bondage that had almost robbed the indigenes of their self esteem with its resultant mentality of inadequacy. The turnaround in the development and in the psyche of the people has attracted global acknowledgement and admiration.
The duty to own and defend the policy thrust and actions of Governor Umahi which have been positively appraised by both friends and, emerging, political foes in equal measures is the responsibility of the people whose fortune is being directly affected.
The opportunity presented by the award of this political penalty by providence should not be allowed to be frittered away by political bounty hunters.