The government of David Umahi has said that those flogged by soldiers in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, were miscreants and not civil servants as reported.
A video had surfaced on social media on Tuesday, showing the governor watching on as security operatives flogged some residents.
Those flogged were said to be civil servants who arrived late to work on the day.
Reacting to the backlash that trailed the development, Uchenna Orji, Ebonyi commissioner for information, said the persons in the footage are not civil servants but “miscreants” who attempted to enforce sit-at-home at the entrance of the airport.
He said contrary to viral reports, the incident happened during the governor’s routine inspection visit to the airport project and not the government house.
Orji said there are no civil servants recruited to work at the airport.
“We wish to inform members of the public that the purported footage is a video manipulation of an aborted attempt by miscreants to block the airport gate and inflict fear on those working at the ongoing international airport and possibly embarrass the governor who was on a routine inspection visit to the airport project, in the guise that they were enforcing sit-at-home order at the premises of the Airport on Tuesday, 4th October 2022,” the statement reads.
“It would be recalled that miscreants had in the past tried to attack those working at the airport site and their plots were neutralized.
“Contrary to the fake report that the incident happened at the gate of the government house in Abakaliki while the governor was under supervision, the miscreants were dispelled at the gate of the new airport under construction.
“It is to be noted that no civil servants or employees whatsoever have been recruited to work in the airport and so no civil servant was flogged at the airport gate, contrary to the impression in the trending report. We are therefore surprised at the basis of the unintelligent fabrications of the mischief makers.
“There is no amount of blackmail that can distract the performing governor of Ebonyi state, His excellency engr chief David Nweze Umahi FNSE FNATE who had visited the airport to carry out his routine inspection of projects as regular inspection of projects is one the reasons why we pride ourselves with quality assurance in our policy of monitoring and evaluation in government businesses.
“Members of the public are therefore enjoined to discountenance the manipulated trending video as the handiwork of enemies of progress.”