Popular philanthropist and former representative of Afikpo North East constituency in Ebonyi State House of Assembly (EBHA), Hon. Maria Ude Nwachi, has alleged that she was owed allowances and entitlements totaling N80m by the Ebonyi state government and has begged President Muhammadu Buhari for intervention.
In an SOS letter she made available to Blueprint, the former lawmaker, who lost her bid to represent Afikpo North/ South constituency in the House of Representatives, under the platform of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) in the 2019 general elections, threatened to take legal actions against the state government if her entitlements were not paid in due time.
She said, “In 2015, I was overwhelmingly elected into the state assembly to represent Afikpo North-East state constituency under a relatively unknown political party- the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), but the state governor and the PDP government launched a terrible onslaught against my person. Exactly on August 18, 2015, I was accused of leading a protest to demand for the restoration of electricity in my town, which had been in total darkness for nearly three years.
“Since then, the Umahi-led PDP government continued to humiliate me and my constituents by severally suspending me indefinitely, without paying me even my statutory entitlements and basic allowances paid my colleagues. On one of the instances, I was ridiculously suspended by my colleagues for being a photographer, which they claimed brought shame and dishonour to the House.
“Because Governor Umahi denied me of rightful entitlements for years prior to the 2019 general elections, I had no funds to run for my election to represent Afikpo North/South in the House of Representatives. I borrowed heavily to finance my election: my financial entitlements and benefits, including those of my aides, were withheld by Gov. Umahi till date.
“It is therefore alarmingly worthy to note that I am owed to the tune of over N80M in statutory and privileged entitlements, including my severance allowance by the Umahi administration. Terribly irked by these denials of my rights and entitlements, I was compelled to put a phone-call across to the Speaker of EBHA. As I queried why I hadn’t been paid like my colleagues, he simply said that I should call and text the governor.
“Therefore, I urge the President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and call the governor to order, as he appears not to listen to anyone in the state. I would be compelled to seek legal redress in a court of law if these issues are not immediately resolved and my entitlements and benefits paid as soon as possible.”