As the Governorship and State Assembly elections draw closer, a group of church ministers in Enugu has appealed to citizens to vote out the controversial Ebeano political confraternity in the state.
The group known as the National Network of Evangelical Ministers (NNEM), Enugu State branch in a statement on Wednesday morning, declared that the biggest gift voters can give Enugu people on Saturday is to join hands with the Obidient Movement, which drives the Labour Party, to vote out the Ebeano political structure currently in power in the state.
“The Ebeano cult is like cancer which has been metastasizing in Enugu since 1999”, the ministers stated in a statement released, Wednesday morning signed by the state chairman, Reverend Peter Anikwe, the secretary, Pastor Ephraim Ugwu, and the public relations officer, Pastor Ifeanyi Nnaji.
The ministers accused the Ebeano group of causing tremendous violence, adding that the only time Enugu has witnessed substantial progress since the return of democracy in 1999 was from 2007 to 2015 because “Governor Sullivan Chime heroically threw the desperadoes and bandits out of political relevance.”
READ ALSO: Tension Builds In Enugu As March 18 Guber, State Assembly Polls Approach
The religious leaders wondered why the outgoing Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi resurrected the controversial political group already discredited by the majority of Enugu leaders and ordinary citizens.
Ebeano, a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was founded during the administration of Chimaraoke Nnamani.
The religious ministers claimed that it was in revenge against the revival of the “Ebeano cult that the electorate in the Enugu North senatorial district gave only 46,948 votes to Governor Ugwuanyi but a whopping 104,492 votes to Okey Ezea of the Labour Party in the February 25 National Assembly election, thus becoming the only governor contesting for the Senate who lost his polling booth, polling unit and ward in the whole country.”
The Labour Party also won seven out of the eight federal constituencies in the state.
The group expressed hope that the “remnants of the Ebeano Cult will be flushed out in this week’s gubernatorial and state assembly elections.”
NNEM recalled how the people in the Coal Camp layout in Enugu city refused to grant Senator Nnamani an audience when he came to campaign for reelection.
The ex-governor, they said, sped away after some 20 minutes in his vehicle.
“When another Ebeano member, Peter Mbah, went on Sunday, March 5, to campaign at the Ugwu Di Nso Pilgrimage Centre in Eke Udi Local Government where some 3,000 youth were having their annual Catholic Youth of Nigeria (CYON) Lenten Week”, recalled the ministers, “he was chased away in broad daylight, and the water and soft drinks he brought not only rejected but also destroyed in full public glare by the youth who described the Ebeano Cult as dangerous.”
The evangelical ministers praised Catholic worshippers for what they termed their “heroic actions” in rejecting evil leadership.
“Enugu Catholics are toeing the heroic path of Catholics in Latin America famous for their liberation theology, Catholics in the Philippines led by Cardinal Sin who in 1986 drove away the corrupt and evil Marcos regime from power, and Catholics in Haiti who in 1986 also drove away the evil Duvalier regime out of power, as well as Catholics in Poland who helped to not only end the General Jarulziski communist regime in the 1980s but also made Poland the first country in Europe to overthrow communism, leading a few years later to the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe but also everywhere else in the world, except Cuba, Laos, North Korea, China and Vietnam,” the group of church ministers stated.
The continued: “All Enugu people are appalled at the desperation he has been exhibiting for grabbing power, as though his life depended on it.
“We believe there is life after March 18” the statement added.