By Obinna Ogbonnaya, Abakaliki
Two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ebonyi state have disagreed on the proposed 150 million dollar loan by the Ebonyi state government from the African Development Bank ADB and the Islamic Development Bank for the construction of the Abakaliki ring road.
The faction loyal to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu during a protest in Abakaliki expressed regret wondering why the
Federal government would approve the $150 million dollars loan request for the construction of the ring roads in the state.
The state factional chairman of the party, Pastor Nwachukwu Eze had directed his members to come out en mass to protest over the construction of the road.
The protesters including, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Former Governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi and many others during the protest marched round the capital city.
One of the protesters, Chief Ken Igwemba said the protest was to reaffirmed their disapproval of the loan request of the state government led by Engr. David Umahi without consulting the APC in the state to ascertain the implication of the loan from the party leaders.
To all these, we say with are not happy that such a loan would be approved. We thank our leader, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for the way he is piloting the affairs of the Ministry of Science and technology. We assure him of our support and prayers”.
Meanwhile, the Ben Nwobasi’s led state executive committee dismissed the protest, calling on all members of the party in the state to disregard the announcement as the party is completely in support of the loan which the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council have approved for the development of the state.
“We are against the protest. We have told our members to disregard Nwachukwu and his group. They are not speaking for APC. What we want is development and that is why the President is not resting on his oars to ensure that he delivers on his promises. Anybody who is attacking the President for aiding development in Ebonyi state is anti-people. We must not strangulate the progress and development of our state because we are in opposition in the state. The President has emphasized that he belong to everybody and belongs to nobody”.
“The loan has been approved by the national assembly that has the largest numbers of APC members. The same loan was deliberated in the federal executive council and approved. Then, to whose interest is Nwachukwu serving? We must unite for the development of our state and
country. APC in Ebonyi state is solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari and we want him to continue to support our in any measure for the development of the state”, Nwobasi said.
Nwobasi noted that APC is in support of any programme that would lead to the development of the state, stressing that the ring road if constructed would boost the economic fortunes of the state and alleviate the sufferings of the people.
He thanked God for the return of the President from his medical trip from London and urged Nigerians to continue to pray for peace and unity of the country.
However, as the factional protesters gathered at the party’s office, a team of armed policemen were deployed to the area to forestall breakdown of law and order, which culminated to the heavy traffic logjam along the ever-busy Abakaliki-Afikpo federal highway.
The security officers also barricaded one of the double lanes to ensure free movement of people along the road. When the atmosphere was charged, youths suspected to be members of Nwobasi’s faction blocked another section of the road with trips of sounds and created burn fires.
A source also noted that some aggrieved youths mobilized to the venue to stop the protest which they claim was against the President. He added that the youths were aggrieved that the factional party headed by Nwachukwu has allegedly constituted social menace in the state since their leadership battle started in the state.