I’m Proud of Peter Obi, I’m Going to Host Him in Ebonyi – Umahi

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Engr. Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi State, has said he is proud of what Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, is doing, and will host him in his state in the coming weeks.

The Ebonyi governor who spoke on Arise TV on Friday, dismissed insinuations that he’s against the candidacy of the former Anambra State governor.

He said, “Peter Obi is my good friend, I have nothing against him. As a matter of fact, I’m going to host in Ebonyi. I’m very proud of what he is doing.”

The governor, however, maintained that is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he is under oath to support his party.

Speaking further on Igbo Presidency, the APC presidential aspirant said, “There is no doubt that Igbo missed out so much in APC, but they missed out terribly in PDP. I have said this several times if Igbo would serve APC with the number of years they had served PDP and denied ticket, I will not be happy about that.

“Morally I don’t have any anger in me to say that it must be me (that would emerge the first Igbo president). No. I just did my bit and demonstrated that we have materials. And for me, in terms of who becomes the President of Nigeria, I want to suggest that we should talk on issues.”

Umahi who also addressed his failure to secure the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), attributed it to the will of God.

Umahi is one of the APC presidential aspirants who strived to get the presidential ticket but the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu emerged as the standard bearer on June 7 and 8 at Eagle Square, Abuja.

The governor said that he would not disclose some things until the campaign begins on September 28, adding that he swore an oath of allegiance to his party and he would abide by it.

“What happened to me at the APC primary election is the will of God. I swore an oath of allegiance to my party in APC and won’t say some things because the campaign has not started,” Umahi said.

Umahi also alleged that the people of his state are marginalized within the Southeast region.

According to him, while it is important to address the larger issue of Igbo marginalisation in Nigeria, the question of Ebonyi marginalisation within the Southeast should also be addressed.

“Yes, I agree that we face marginalisation, but it’s also important to talk about the marginalisation of Ebonyi people within the context of the Southeast,” Umahi said.

The governor said prior to the creation of the state, the area was starved of basic infrastructure, but noted that he’s been able to change the narrative as governor.

On the controversy surrounding his senatorial bid, Umahi alleged that his main challenger for the APC Ebonyi South Senatorial District ticket, Ann Agom-Eze, demanded N20 million from him.

Chronicling the events, Umahi said, “There was a primary election of APC for Ebonyi South senatorial zone on May 28th, upon which Ann Agom-Eze came second by winning two votes and Austin Umahi won by 283 votes. By the electoral act, Austin became the candidate of the party.

“There was never at any time that Agom-Eze became the candidate of the party.

“Let me say this, if it is said that some men don’t have honour, shouldn’t women also have honour?

“Ann sent me a text message when she came to negotiate for N20 million that I should give to her. I didn’t say no.

“She sent me a WhatsApp message acknowledging that she withdrew on her own without any influence. What was her withdrawal for? There is no provision for the second runner-up in primary election in the 2022 Electoral Act to withdraw. She withdrew under oath from contesting any further primaries of APC in Ebonyi State.

“There were about five events that would have afforded Agom-Eze the opportunity to challenge… she is working for the PDP candidate because in all these things she has not been very close to being the candidate of the party. I have not used my position unduly at all.”

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