EBONYI STATE governor has coughed out N1.27 billion with which he used to purchase 22 Toyota Land Cruisers(2016 model) for the lawmakers of the 24-member state House of Assembly. The Speaker, Hon Francis Nwifuru and his deputy, Odefa Obasi had got theirs earlier last year. Handing over the cars to the lawmakers at the Assembly premises, Governor Umahi said he was fulfilled for giving them the official cars, saying he went as far as borrowing to procure the cars. “I was the person who put myself under pressure to go about the loan to purchase these cars and not the lawmakers. No matter how hungry we are, the House of Assembly remains the pride of a state. If they are called for meeting with lawmakers from other states, they must not alight from taxis. “ We will not celebrate poverty and nobody will give you anything for being poor. People may say oh, sorry, he is suffering, but that does not take you anywhere. They are just mocking you. So, what we celebrate is the wealth of God”, Umahi said. He noted that the cars were bought in an open market at affordable prices. “We got a soft loan from the supplier and the loan is without any interest and the payment is spread for four month. And I challenge anybody to find out where you can get this vehicle at the cost we got it and to be paid within four months after supply”, he explained. He said the present economic predicament required sacrifice and transparency and urged the people to emulate the three arms of government of the state who he said had been making sacrifices. The Speaker of the state House, Hon Francis Nwifuru, who spoke on behalf of the elated lawmakers, commended the governor for the gesture, noting that the vehicles would enhance their productivity. Nwifuru noted that governor Umahi had been doing everything within his powers to ensure the optimal operation of the lawmakers without interfering on the independence of the House. He explained that aside the donation of cars, the governor had approved the reconstruction of the Assembly complex from bungalow to duplex status and reconstruction of the Assembly road with street lighting. Speaker Nwifuru assured the governor of speedy passage of bills and other requests from him for efficient operation.