INDIGENOUS People of Biafra (IPOB) lacks capacity to bar President Muhammadu Buhari from visiting any state in the Southeast, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi said yesterday.
He was reacting to a statement credited to IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful last week, wherein the group warned the President to shelve his planned visit to Ebonyi State.
The governor expressed his dissatisfaction with the group’s stance while speaking at a special end-of-the-ear thanksgiving service of the state at the new Government House Chapel, Centenary City, Ebonyi State.
Reports had claimed President Muhammadu Buhari would visit Ebonyi State in November to inaugurate some projects but the governor confirmed that he and the President agreed to shelve the meeting till next year.
He said: “I saw where one misguided element that calls himself IPOB, said Mr. President is not welcomed in Ebonyi. He is inconsequential.
“I was in Paris and I told Mr. President that the leaders of Southeast would want to visit him over the issue of peace in the region and appealed to him to postpone the visit till early next year.
“But I didn’t want to tell our people, because I was urging them to keep pushing our projects as if the President was going to come this year. And I’m not sure up to three or four people knew this; so, I kept it to myself.
“So, Mr. President will come when we want him to come. That IPOB guy is an inconsequential human being. If he is serious, let him hit the wall and come to Ebonyi State and let him see if he would find feet to go back.
“Somebody will sit somewhere and be talking rubbish and they will be misleading our children to go and be killed; but he himself will not be at the war front.
“Any of them that will talk rubbish about security in the South-East, should come and lead the war. And I will also lead the war for Ebonyi State. And like David, we will always kill Goliath. When they talk rubbish, just ignore them. This land belongs to God.”
Umahi also debunked reports that he was planning to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said he is satisfied with the peace in the All Progressive Congress (APC) which he joined a year ago.
The governor said: “They said I want to return to PDP, with all these achievements? That man that does not even have a road to his house, I say may God not forgive him.
“I say thank you to the opposition in Ebonyi State; opposition in Ebonyi State is about bitterness and that is not how it is supposed to be,” he said.
The governor also announced the lifting of the suspension of Acting Auditor-General of the State, Mr. Samuel Uduma and his subsequent confirmation as the substantive auditor-general with immediate effect.
He promised that his administration will complete the International Airport and the Stadium and other projects within the coming year while the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu and the Hospital would take off next year.