24th January, 2018
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Wednesday said that he was not against the re-election bid of any National Assembly member from the state.
Umahi, who made the assertion in Abakaliki during the signing into law of the state’s 2018 budget of N208 billion, noted that many of the lawmakers were nursing the fear of not being re-elected.
The governor said that he never told any of the National Assembly members that he would not be re-elected, adding that power, however, belonged to God and the people.
“I think that our federal representatives have not performed badly even though I see fear in some of them.
“They should go back to their constituencies and work for their re-election as Ebonyi people should know that as a father, I am not against the lawmakers and that is 50 per cent success.
“The other part of the success is in their hands and this should make any of them not feel that I am against him, even the one that attempted to defect,” he said.
“I am not against him as my power does not override the powers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which can decide to offer him the ticket that I cannot stop.
“The important thing is after facing the party, you have to face the people and even if you manipulate the party, you cannot manipulate the people.
“You have to familiarise with the people, be nice to them, attend functions, respect the elders, enhance the welfare of widows because everything is not money.”
He restated his support for the re-election of the state House of Assembly members, advising the people to review the parameters they use in assessing state lawmakers.
“The way to assess their performances is to assess the governor’s performance in their constituencies because they identify the projects we execute in their constituencies.
“There is nothing more they can do as anybody who does not like them or say they have not performed well should say any other House of Assembly that attracted the kind of projects they did to their constituencies,” hesaid.
The governor noted that in the state’s 2017 fiscal performance, the recurrent expenditure was 20.7 per cent and the capital was 79.3 per cent with all the discharge of the “first line charge”.
“The World Bank threshold is 1.5 percent, that is capital over recurrent and we achieved 3.84 per cent to take the first position in the whole federation,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Francis Nwifuru, said that the signing of the budget termed “Law No. 001 of 2018”, represented the legal authority for public spending in the state in 2018.
“The House invited relevant ministries and agencies and state government to defend their input into the budget as they were fiscally analysed in tune with government policies and people’s wishes.
“We resolutely matched the executive arm’s speed in passing the budget without compromising the due process of law making and pledge to continue to collaborate with it to meet our peoples’ needs,” he said.
Prof. Bernard Odoh, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), said that the high attention given to capital expenditure showed the government’s resolve to institute the necessary infrastructure to propel the state’s economic and social greatness.