The Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi Wednesday said that his endorsement of State House of Assembly and National Assembly members from the state may not metamorphose to election victory at the polls as power still belongs to the people.
Governor Umahi stated this at the State Executive Council Chambers Abakaliki after signing into law the States 2018 Appropriation Law of N208 billion.
The governor had in December endorsed the re-election of all the 24 house of Assembly members and all the eight National Assembly members from the state in next year’s general election.
The endorsement had generates mixed reaction as many intending aspirants kicked against it describing the endorsement as undemocratic and may affect the PDP during its primaries.
Gov Umahi said his endorsement does not mean that other candidates are not free to contest insisting that those who are currently occupying the position “must work out their salvation”.
“Some people have been sending messages and giving soft threats and saying that if you give blanket endorsement of lawmakers it is going to affect your own. I say we came on divine mandate and nothing will affect our own”.
“We came on board with people and I am aspiring to take a second tenure, is it right as a father to say that I will be ascending and others should be descending?”
“We are not going to stop anybody that is contesting. It is like a father is pleading to his children. The more we allow these people go the more they gain experience. We spend so much to train a lawmaker and after one year we throw them out, you have gained nothing.
The Governor however said the legislators will have to campaign vigorously and delivering on their campaign promises in other to merit a new tenure.
“But that is not to say that it is final, they should work out their salvation. Let no National assembly member say that I am against him, I am not against anybody even the one that attempted suicide, I am not against him”.
“My power does not override the leadership of the PDP, they can decide to give him ticket waive all rights, the governor cannot stop it. But the important thing is that after facing the party you will have to face the people. If you manipulate the party you cannot manipulate the people. You have to attend functions, be nice to people, respect the Elders, find out how the widows are faring in your area.”
On the budget Mr Umahi said the states 2017 budget rcapital expenditure recorded over 70 percent performance while capital recorded over 30 percent performance to place first in the whole federation according to world bank measurement standard.He expressed hope that the 2018 budget will outperform the 2018 budget.
Earlier, the Speaker of the House, Francis Nwifuru said despite the speedy passage of the law, the house was meticulous.
“We did not compromise standards as the house did its due diligence before passing the budget”