Mr Charles Akpuenika, former Ebonyi Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, has said that the “non-indigene syndrome” has been abolished in Ebonyi due to Gov. David Umahi’s all-inclusive policies.
Akpuenika, who hails from Anambra, on Tuesday in Abakaliki said that the governor had made non-indigenes feel like indigenes of the state.
“Umahi appointed over 40 non-indigenes into the state’s governance in his first tenure as commissioner, special assistants and technical assistants among others.
“The governor does not care whether his appointees are from Hausa, Yoruba or other tribes of the nation and also does not want to hear that someone is a non-indigene when discharging his duties.
“He also included bishops who are non-indigenes when he distributed jeeps to the clergy and also included Muslim Imams in the distribution.
“This is very rare in the country and we urge other state governors to emulate him to foster the desired unity in the country,” he said.
The former commissioner noted that refurbishing of the Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, Abakaliki, signalled the turnaround of sports in the state as it ensured the organisation of several sports events.
“Sports was in doldrums during the preceding administration but the state government proactively refurbished the stadium to rekindle the sporting spirit among citizens.
“During the first tenure of the present administration, sporting activities such as the David Umahi Tertiary Institutions Games (DUMTIGA), Paramilitary Games and Divine Mandate (the governor’s electioneering slogan) Super Cup for the state’s 171 political wards, were organised.
“The state also hosted its first ever marathon race while the stadium hosted several national soccer matches such as the AITEO (Federation) Cup,” he said.
He noted that his successor would supervise the formation of the state’s soccer teams as the project was in progress by the time he left office.
“The state executive council decided that the state will float soccer teams after the preceding administration disbanded its male and female soccer teams as modalities to this effect is being finalised.
“The government is dissatisfied with the manner in which the state Football Association (FA) election was conducted as the ministry and soccer stakeholders were not involved.
“The state FA is not a one-man business as the government provides all logistics with which it operates while its secretary is a government employee,” he said.