From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi state government yesterday held a state dinner in honour of the former Chief of Army Staff and Nigeria Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Tukur Buratai.
The Dinner was held on Sunday at the Banquet Hall of the Governor’s Lodge at Ocho Udo Centenary City in Abakaliki.
Speaking at the dinner, Governor David Umahi commended Buratai for the services he rendered to the nation and Ebonyi State in particular which he said helped to reduce incidences of insecurity during his reign as Chief of Army Staff.
He said Nigerians will always remember him as a man who did his best to protect his nation.
“This is a man that even if he is in the battlefront and you call him on phone, he will answer you, it doesn’t matter your level, so we are very proud of his service to humanity, When you have a good heart to your people, when you want to exit, God can use even your enemies to grant you a soothing exit, so I congratulate you for the selfless service you rendered to us as a Chief of Army Staff.
“Security is quite the duty of each one of us. One of the things he did for Ebonyi State is manpower development and that is by bringing the Tukur Buratai Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution as well as the Army Referral Hospital to Ebonyi State.
“Today we want to thank you very highly for this your honour and commitment to the welfare of our people.”
The Governor said Ebonyi State as usual would not subscribe to incessant calls for sit at home, insisting that any civil servant who absents from work on Monday and Tuesday would be sanctioned.
“Evil will continue to thrive if good people keep quiet, we must make Ebonyi State very exceptional by rising to the challenges. When we shout True Federalism, I say I agree but it should be administrative restructuring, Ebonyi State is not in support of any State collecting VAT, we are in support that FIRS should continue to collect tax and share.
“We are destroying our economy, the sit at home is not happening in South West, the North is not sitting at home, each time we sit at home, we lose over ten billion naira in our economy, so Ebonyi state will not sit at home any day, so I charge the Commissioners to go all out and ensure that Civil Servants come to work, and for the Markets, I will personally be in the Markets tomorrow, anyone who is no longer interested in owning shops can go home.”he said.
The Governor while urging the leaders of the nation to speak up against destructive voices that are capable of polarizing the country, said he was open to debate with any PDP Governor who feels he has delivered more democracy dividends to his people than the APC led administration in Ebonyi State.
“People are taking special interest in Ebonyi State and her Governor, positively and negatively but it is very important to be in the news than for you to say there are thirty-six states, you will name 35 and say what is the other State, we have aborted it, we are now a State to reckon with and we have no apologies.
“When I say I have no apologies, you can talk everything about me but you can not say we have not delivered and so when people open their mouths in PDP to talk about APC, they should know that I belong to APC and if they like, let PDP offer any of their best Governors to come for debate with me and I will defeat any of them, not to be talking and talking. You don’t sit on people’s sweat and resources and be talking nonsense.
“We have no regrets taking our people to the center. We have always played at the center, we are not playing party politics, we are playing politics that will be an advantage to our people, criticize me, no problems but we need resources, we need friendship with the center.”