Abakaliki — Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi yesterday decried the renaming of Abakaliki Street in Awka by the Anambra State government, describing the development as disservice to the spirit of brotherhood between both states.
The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, noted that renaming the street 'Club Street' caused a stare on social media, but urged the people to remain calm.
He disclosed that Umahi had contacted Governor Willie Obiano on the matter with the aim of getting him to reverse the decision.
He explained that the development was needless between Ebonyi and Anambra, which were in the Southeast with Imo, Abịa and Enugu states and which are predominantly Igbo speaking states.
Umahi, who noted that Obiano has the constitutional right to rename any structure, however, pointed out that "in doing so, the unity and perpetuation of legacies and sustenance of the things that hold us together as a people should have, first and foremost, come to mind.
"While he condemns the action in its entirety, Umahi has put everything in place to ensure that Obiano reverses the decision of restoring Abakaliki Street," adding that it was gazetted a long time ago in the spirit of oneness in Igbo land.
He argued that no part of Igbo land should be discriminated against and lamented that Ebonyi State had suffered discrimination even from its sister states.
"This is not healthy, especially as we try to unite our people and form a formidable economic and political bloc.
"Umahi has contacted Obiano on how best to resolve the issue, especially with regard to the social media claims that the street was taken away from Abakaliki people because they are not qualified to bear such name of a major street in Awka.
"For us in Ebonyi State, we have Awka, Onitsha, Neni, Nri, Agulu, Nando, Oraeri, and Oraifite, among others and these are very strategic streets in Abakaliki and yet no government has ever tried to rename them.
"Rather, these streets, which have been in bad shape have all been refurbished and illuminated with street lights and we expect our brothers in other states to maintain our legacy and pride by allowing all the streets named after Abakaliki or Ebonyi State to remain so," he stated.