The Chairman and Spoke person of the Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu has urged the leadership of the PDP to caution Ebonyi State Governor, Engineer Dave Umahi, for the unjustifiable ban he placed against some journalists and media organizations from doing their job in the State. In a Press Statement released to Newsmen in Abuja, on April 26, 2020, the unrelenting Social critic and civil rights advocate, called on the National Leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to wade into the undemocratic Practices of the Governor and ensure that his actions, on behalf of the Party, do not undermine its enviable democratic credentials.
Ambassador Pascal was speaking on the disgraceful and most unwarranted ban placed upon two (2) journalists deployed to the Ebonyi Government House to cover government activities for The Punch and The SunNews media houses respectively. Against all entreaties from well meaning public spirited individuals and organizations, the PDP Governor has refused to allow these journalists any access to the Government House where they have a legitimate and constitutionally guaranteed duties to perform on behalf of their organizations. The journalists were being punished not because of their incompetence, but because they have demonstrated independent reasoning and have refused to be corrupted or intimidated on the discharge of their duties.
Ambassador Pascal stated that the Ebonyi Diaspora Association “condemns, in strongest terms, the dictatorial actions of the Governor, who has been ruling the good people of Ebonyi State like a Roman Imperial Proconsul, clearly unaccountable to the democratic tenets that placed him in that position.”
In the circumstances, Ambassador Pascal called on the national leadership of the PDP to rise up to the challenges imposed on its peculiar position to rein in on the Governor and ensure that he remains respectful of democratic norms in leading the government and people of Ebonyi State on its behalf.
He stated that in addition to stopping this undemocratic behavior, “the PDP also needs to caution Governor Dave Umahi against making unguarded and careless utterances capable of undermining the democratic gains of the party in the State.” He cited the example of the gag order issued to the Civil Servants not to speak out against any government policy, however unpopular or risk being fired from their jobs.
The Ebonyi-born activist further stated that for the PDP to safeguard its democratic reputations “ it cannot overlook obvious disrespect for the rule of law and must therefore brings Governor Dave Umahi to book, and caution his approach. You can not halt freedom of speech, or ban Journalists from going about their constitutional rights. If the PDP refuses to caution Governor Umahi, he will mortgage the Ebonyi State to the APC; and we all know what that means for the 2023 general elections”, Ambassador Pascal concludes.