Innoson Motors: Ubah Demands ‘Proper’ Apology from Utazi


Tobi Soniyi

As the controversy over alleged de-marketing of Innoson Vehicles continues to rage, the Senator representing Anambra South, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has demanded an unreserved apology from his colleague, Senator Chukwuka Utazi over his point of order on the floor of the Senate alleging that a senator had tried to de-market the indigenous vehicle manufacturing company.

Utazi, representing Enugu North Senatorial District, had already written two letters of apology to Ubah.

However, Ubah rejected the letters and demanded that an unreserved and unambiguous apology be tendered on the floor of the Senate just as he insisted that Utazi should name the Senator who had opposed the purchase of the Innoson brand by the Senate.

In a letter to Utazi dated July 17th, Ubah stated that it was unfortunate that he (Utazi) could descend so low to allow himself to be used to play gutter politics.

Ubah said: ”I write in response to your letters dated 14th of July 2020 and 16th July 2020 wherein you tried to clarify the unfortunate and clueless comments you made during the plenary session of the 9th Senate on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 over an unverified and fake social media story.

In your letters, you maintained that the Point of Order you raised on the Senate Floor was never directed at me but was made to protect the interests of Igbo businesses.

“While I commend your acknowledgement of the importance of promoting the Igbo economy which is my core mantra and one of my utmost priorities in the National Assembly, it is unfortunate that you failed to mention the Senator who committed such an unpardonable act by opposing the procurement of vehicles made by Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Company Limited (a company situated in my constituency, Anambra South) during a Senate Transport Committee Meeting which I am neither a member of, nor have I ever attended the said committee meeting.”

However, Ubah said it was most unfortunate and sad that Utazi was unable to produce any evidence to prove that the alleged incident to demarket IVM occurred.

He called on the senator to be man enough to apologize and inform Nigerians that he erred by bringing an unverified social media rumour to the floor of the Senate.

“As a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you should have contacted or consulted the leadership of the Senate Committee on Transport or any member of the committee which our highly respected brother and leader from Enugu; Senator (Dr) Chimaroke Nnamani is a member, to find out if such happened; rather you chose to discuss it on the floor of the Senate plenary based on hearsay. This is very appalling and disgraceful!” He added.

Ubah said he had to respond because a sponsored writer had in the previous days prior to the Tuesday plenary session used a fictitious name to trend a fallacious story that he allegedly kicked against the purchase of Innoson vehicles in a transport Senate Committee meeting.

He said: “You can imagine the embarrassment that I felt on witnessing your presentation on the floor of the Senate, hence my demand that you mention the name of the perpetrator if indeed such a thing truly occurred before the intervention of our highly respected colleagues who intervened on your behalf and had to abandon plenary and escort me back to my office where they all expressed surprise at your action.

“I do not believe that a Distinguished Colleague like you should be used to play petty/gutter politics. I find your action very distasteful and demand that you tender a clear, proper and unreserved-apology to my constituents, Ndi Anambra, your home state, the Senate, Ndi Igbo whom I hold so dearly and Nigerians in general for bringing an unverified and fictitious fake social media report to the floor of the Nigerian Senate which by extension, has defamed my reputation and also reduced your office to a tool for petty/gutter politics and fake social media propaganda.”