Ebonyi State government and the opposition All Progressives Congress in the state are currently enmeshed in a war of words over the proposed mega rally by the later in the state township stadium on Saturday.
A faction of the APC in the state had announced that it would hold a mega rally at the township stadium ahead of the 2019 general election.
But the state government has urged them to look elsewhere for the proposed rally saying the stadium is undergoing reconstruction and renovation, a development APC has vowed to resist.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Uzor, had while addressing members of the state Sports Writers Association, SWAN, who paid him a courtesy call in his office said the stadium was undergoing serious reconstruction including asphalting and illumination of floodlight, which was why the state government had not used the stadium in recent time.
He said that Governor Umahi has brought in investors from his economic trip to China to upgrade the stadium to more International standard and that any activity in it would jeopardize the work currently ongoing therein.
Uzor said: “Abakaliki Township stadium now Pa Ngele Oruta stadium as you all know has been under construction and as I am talking to you, asphalting of the back of the stadium is ongoing and the illumination of the flood light at the popular stand is ongoing.
“His Excellency just came back from China, and he brought some Investors who are coming to look into the stadium and to see how they can upgrade it to a more International standard.
“Any political activity in that place especially by a particular Party that is divided along three different strange lines will jeopardise the construction work in the stadium.
“We believe in accommodating all the different voices especially different parties in the state. We don’t want to stiff any opposition. Any opposition with credible integrity that wants to do anything is free to do it but as for the stadium, if you notice for some time, even the state government has not done anything in the stadium because of the work going on there.
“So, I want to use this opportunity to tell the faction of the APC the earlier they start looking for an alternative, the better for them. Of course, they have their own stadium at Nkwegu Ugballa.
“The earlier they start looking for an alternative, the better for them, because that place is a no go area not because they are opposition, after all, how many are they? But because we are working at the stadium”.
But the Party through its Publicity Secretary, Nwoba Chika has challenged the state government decision, saying the Party must used the stadium whether reconstruction or no reconstruction and warned anyone who has the intention of blocking them access to the facility to do so at his own peril.
He said: “We are using the state township stadium on Saturday for our rally irrespective of the refusal of the state government. We are using it and we are here warning the touts who would be sent by the governor or anybody to stop our entry into the facility to please stay at home for their own interest. We will not entertain any nonsense that day”.
He said “the state government wrote to our great party, the APC, this morning saying that the stadium was undergoing reconstruction, a stadium that was used for several events a few days ago; adding, “so, may it be known to all Ebonyians that the APC Ebonyi state chapter shall be making use of the stadium on Saturday reconstruction works or not.