The Guardian
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Bank loan not move to Islamise southeast, say governors


Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State

Governors of Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia states yesterday denounced rumours that their plans to collect loans from the Islamic Bank to finance some of their projects, was aimed at Islamising the zone.

There have been public outcry in the southeast, especially among Christians that the governors namely: Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), were working to Islamise the zone through a loan request from the bank currently being processed by the Federal Government.

The rumours had it that practising the Islamic religion in the three states was one of the preconditions for the approval of the loans.

But speaking during the inauguration of the secretariat staff in Enugu, Chairman, Southeast Governor’s Forum, David Nweze Umahi said the allegations were not true.

He stated that when secured, the loans would help drive development in the states, stressing that the overall objectives was to move the zone forward.

“There is something that has been agitating the minds of some of our Christian brothers and sisters. We have read on the pages of newspapers that Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia want to islamise the Southeast.

“I think when we are badly challenged we should be careful about what we say. The banking system has nothing to do with religion. Some of those whose pictures are on the national currencies are Christians and some are Muslims.

“So, this whole thing has actually nothing to do with whether we are Muslims or Christians. And in any case, these are loans that are being arranged by the Federal Government. There is no indication of Christianity or Islam on the loan,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the people of the region to disregard the rumours and look at it as another hate speech from their detractors, adding that the governors were committed to the oneness of a country rooted in peace, equity, justice and fairness.

Umahi, revealed that former Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Simeon Ortuanya is Director General of the forum, a former Chief Press Secretary to Anambra State government, Mike Uda, as Director, Media and Communications, Orlando Nweze, Director Finance and Administration while Chibuike Amaechi is Director, Projects Initiation and Execution.

Umahi said the forum condemned the incidence at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo council of Anambra where 13 worshipers were killed and others injured.

He also condoled with the people and government of Imo State over the recent building collapse that killed four people.

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