Appointment of EBSU female lecturer as Ebonyi SSG raises fresh concerns about Umahi’s overbearing influence

Ebonyi State Governor Francis Nwifuru, has appointed a female lecturer at the Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki, Prof. Grace Umezurike, as Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

Until her appointment, Prof Umezurike was a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at EBSU

She is the wife of the immediate past Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Daniel Umezurike

Her appointment, which is contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Nwifuru, came few hours after the governor sworn-in two Senior Special Assistants and 20 Special Assistants, on Friday.

The statement read, “The Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, has approved the appointment of Prof. Grace Umezurike as Secretary to Ebonyi State Government.

“The appointment takes immediate effect.

“She will be sworn – in on Tuesday 13th June, 2023.”

Prof. Umezurike hails from Uburu in Ohaozara LGA, the hometown of the immediate past Governor, Chief David Umahi. Her husband, Dr. Dan Umezurike, is a personal physician to the former governor and was a very loyal and trusted member of his kitchen cabinet, who served for 8 years as Heath Commissioner while Umahi’s administration lasted

Some concerned citizens of the state who have followed the politics of Nwifuru’s appointments have alleged that Nwifuru’s tenure may amount to Umahi’s third term unless the current situation is changed to give Nwifuru the independence and autonomy he requires to govern the state.

There have been insinuations that the delay in appointing the SSG was because of an internal power struggle between Gov. Nwifuru and his predecessor, Umahi, over who should make the nomination.

The President of the Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in the Diaspora (ASSEID), Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu recently issued a press release where he called on Gov. Nwifuru to firmly take charge of his duties or resign from the position

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