The chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, chief David Umahi has revealed his commitment to negotiate with all political aspirants ranging from presidential to others in the forthcoming general elections.
Umahi made this known in Abakaliki while addressing stakeholders of the state at the township stadium.
He said that time had gone when Ebonyi was being neglected in Nigeria.
He said: “There is no other state in this country that has so empowered their citizens as we are in Ebonyi state. Therefore, it is the duty of the stakeholders to monitor what these people we have empowered are doing. The number we have empowered, it seems to be direct jobs. Anyone we have empowered is supposed to have at least 10 persons he or she is working with.
“If we prepare our afternoon very well by securing the future of our people, then our evening will be very peaceful. I’m not sure that anyone here has experienced the ugly situation of being kidnapped. It is a terrible experience and we can only avoid that by securing the future of our people.
“With voters registration of the number of people we have in Ebonyi state which is 4million people, we will be able to negotiate our way in the next coming election. Time is gone when they use to say 35 states and one other state. Never again in the affairs of this country shall we ever be neglected. Therefore, this registration is very important. It is non partisan and it must be taken very seriously.
“Government cannot do everything. It’s time the stakeholders should support their local areas. Mobilize our people and educate them. Tell them the importance of this, so that tomorrow, we will not get less than 2.5million people. Believing that as high as 1.5 million people of Ebonyi state are below the age of registration but if we exceed 2.5million, people, it means we have really worked. It means we really understand the importance of this exercise.
“Therefore, it is our power to negotiate our way, it is our power to negotiate with those that are going to contest for various political positions. It is our power to satisfy our conscience. It is our fundamental right to be registered which we must exercise. But if you have not registered, it means you cannot vote.
“In our thinking, we believe that going from house to house is very important. When you get to each house, you will be able to do temporary registration of those who have not registered. Just get their names. Don’t worry so much about INEC machine. Let us first of all know those who have not registered that are qualified to do so, but have not registered. This is very vital.
“In our homes, in our schools, in our markets, in our shops, in our business centres, in town unions, in traditional rulers’ meetings, Ebonyians that are outside the state, of course all political parties, among all official of the state government, town union presidents, Ebonyi unions that are outside Ebonyi state, our teachers, it’s the duty of the chancellor of Ebonyi state university, the pro-chancellor, council chairmen are to ensure that all the staff and students are registered.
“We will ensure the enforcement of this registration, but we believe that the various institutions should be able to come out with their own strategy to ensure that everybody get registered,” he stated.