Governor Dave Umahi’s presidential aspiration
OpenLife Nigeria reports that Governor Dave Umahi’s 2023 presidential aspiration may have run into stormy weather.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, on November 19 2020, over circumstances which appeared he had lost grip in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and was at sea on what to do as the 2023 general elections draw nearer.
The governor, has over time, announced his presidential aspiration in 2023.
In what seemed a discomfiture in his aspiration within PDP, Umahi moved to APC to pursue his ambition hinging his hope in the unofficial agreement that the ruling APC would zone its 2023 presidential ticket to south eastern Nigeria.
But that belief was punctured when governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State recently announced his departure from the opposition, PDP.
He made the announcement while hosting six APC governors who visited him in Calabar, the state capital.
The visiting governors were Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Hope Uzodinma of Imo, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti.
Making a remarks, Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni who doubles as the interim national chairman of the party stated that the presidential ticket of the party is opened to all, an announcement that deflates governor Umahi’s belief that the east would be singularly considered for the ticket.
Making allusion to the Calabar statement, Dr Emmanuel Agbo, the deputy national secretary of the PDP said on Monday that governors Umahi and Ayade made the errors of their life by dumping the party that provided the ladder for their ascendency to power.
He however dismissed any effect from their defection saying “The APC slapped Umahi when they said in Calabar that no zoning of their presidential ticket,” he stated.
With his defection, Mr Ayade becomes the only APC governor from the South-South geopolitical zone.
The ruling party had lost its only governor in the zone last year when Godwin Obaseki of Edo crossed to the PDP months to the governorship election in that state. He won reelection on that platform.
With Mr Ayade in the kitty, the APC now has 21 governors, the PDP 14 and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) one.
Mr Ayade’s defection came six months after his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, also left the PDP.
Umahi left the PDP citing “injustice” meted out to the South-east by the party as the reason for his departure.
Umahi had on assumption of power in 2015 arrogated to his immediate younger brother, Austin Umahi, as the National Vice Chairman of PDP for South east and another relation, Maxwell Umahi, as the deputy state chairman of the PDP in Ebonyi state. Imposition of Austin Umahi as the party’s national vice chairman caused pandemonium at the Michael Okpara square Enugu, when Mr. Ali Odefa who had served Governor Umahi over the years and was the zonal publicity secretary of the PDP insisted on a due process election instead of selection of Austin Umahi.
Odefa was tamed, cut to size and intimidated into submission and acceptance of the Umahi dynasty in Ebonyi state.
Thereafter, Governor Umahi enjoyed lavishly the instruments of the party, PDP, which he armed himself with the office of the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, SEGF, to become a veritable authority and spokesman of the South East political class.