ABAKALIKI-GOVERNOR of Ebonyi State and Chairman of Southeast Governors Forum, Engr. David Umahi, Tuesday condemned the alleged renaming of Abakaliki street in Awka, the Anambra State capital by the state government. Umahi The governor made his feelings known in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Emmanuel Uzor after the renaming of the street to ‘Club Street’ caused an uproar in the social media. The governor while calling on the people to remain calm said he has contacted his Anambra counterpart, Willie Obiano with the aim of getting him to correct the action. ADVERTISING Ebonyi and Anambra are in the Southeast region of the country together with Imo, Abịa and Enugu states which are predominantly Igbo speaking states. Umahi who stated that Mr Obiano has every constitutional right to rename any structure, be it road or any other infrastructure pointed out that “in doing so, what should come to mind should be the unity and perpetuation of legacies and sustenance of the sacred thing that holds us together as a people”. The statement read: “While he condemns in its entirety, the action, Umahi has put everything in place to ensure that Chief Willie Obiano reverses the action of bringing back the Abakaliki street, a name gazetted long time ago in the spirit of oneness in Igbo land. “There should be no part of Igbo land that should be discriminated upon. Ebonyi State has received the highest discrimination even from among her brother states and this is not healthy especially as we fight to unite our people and form a formidable economic and political blocs. “The Governor has put a call through to his brother Governor, Chief Willie Obiano on how best to resolve the conflict of interest especially as regards the social media claims that the street was taken away from Abakaliki people because they are not qualified to answer such name of a major street in Awka. “While we don’t want to rush into conclusions as regards the rumour making the rounds describing Abakaliki as a backward state; may we remind whoever that is taking any action against Abakaliki man based on the former toga and personality that Abakaliki had, that since inception of the administration of Governor David Umahi, Abakaliki has become the fastest developing state and the most beautiful state capital in Nigeria with great potential to overtake other states in the nearest future. “Therefore, renaming a street originally named after Abakaliki because of the stigmatization and the spirit of Wawa does not arise as Abakaliki has grown to become more developed than the city in question.” The Governor, according to Uzor, said that most states in the region especially Anambra always seizes every opportunity to look down on Abakaliki man and urged them to eschew this discrimination and see every Igbo man as a brother irrespective of where he or she comes from. The Governor further noted that he has a vision of an Igbo nation where all persons will have homes and become citizens irrespective of their state or origin. “For us in Ebonyi State, we have Awka, Onitsha, Neni, Nri, Agulu, Nando, Oraeri, Oraifite and many other streets and these streets are very strategic in Abakaliki and yet, no government has ever tried to rename them, rather, these streets which have been in bad shape have all been asphalted and illuminated with street light and we expect our brothers in other states to maintain our legacy and pride by allowing all the streets named after Abakaliki or Ebonyi State to remain so. “Finally, Governor David Umahi will meet with Governor Willie Obiano to discuss and get the real reason behind the alleged reversal of Abakaliki street on the ground that the street has grown beyond the Abakaliki status”, the statement added. Ends

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