By Douglas Okoro
Chief Elias Mbam, Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has formally joined the Ebonyi governorship race for the 2023 general elections.
This is contained in a statement issued on Friday in Abakaliki by Mr Obinna Udenwe, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Mbam and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to the statement, Mbam who obtained the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship and Expression of Interest forms on Thursday in Abuja has become the first APC governorship aspirant in Ebonyi to buy the N50m form.
This, the statement noted was despite the Gov. Dave Umahi’s endorsement of Mr Francis Nwifuru, Speaker of the Ebonyi House of Assembly and one of the APC’s gubernatorial aspirants as his successor.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Umahi had on Saturday at the burial of late Chief Dandy Igweomoke, father of Mrs Chioma Nweze, Commissioner for Trade and Investment announced endorsement of Nwifuru as the governorship candidate of APC.
The speaker along with other 16 members of Ebonyi House of Assembly was sacked by an Abuja Federal High Court presided by Justice Inyang Ekwo for defecting to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2020.
According to the statement, Mbam, in a message to his supporters, said that he has already developed a blueprint titled, ‘The Ebonyi Dream’ to lift the state out of its present poverty level.
Mbam said that the 2019 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Poverty Index of states that scored Ebonyi 87.02 per cent with poor citizens revealed a startling reality of the state’s poverty level.
He promised that he would work to ensure that this was reversed within two to four years of his administration as governor.
The statement reads in part: “For all Mbam’s supporters, APC faithful and Ebonyi people in general, we wish to inform you that it is official; Mbam has today purchased the nomination form to run for governor of Ebonyi.
“This past week has been a wonderful one for us, filled with heart warming news everywhere; even though to many bystanders in Ebonyi concerned about what was going on, there seemed to be darkness, but for us, we knew that everything was working for good.
“We assure Ebonyi people, especially those who were thrown into despondency with the recent event of past days, to put a smile on their faces, for the ‘Egyptians’ we see today, we shall see no more.
Udenwe said that key stakeholders in APC and several indigenes of the state have been expressing concern that the speaker was being foisted on the people by the governor. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)