Ebonyi governor Dave Umahi joins race to succeed Buhari
Barely 24 hours after National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ahmed Bola Tinubu announced his intention to contest the presidential election, Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi has also joined the race.
Governor Umahi spoke to newsmen on Tuesday after he met behind closed doors with President Muhammad Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Emerging from the president’s office, Umahi confirmed that he discussed the issue with the president who told him to go and seek the support of the people.
Umahi said he would not be weighed down by Tinubu’s entry into the race because he believed that the contest is not about might but will be won by who God endorses.
“The Bible that I swore with a section of it in 1 Samuel says that by strength shall no man prevail, and power and might belong to God,” Umahi said.
“I’m not in a contest with anybody I’m in a contest with myself.”
The Ebonyi governor, who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, had argued that the former ruling party was not ready to cede the 2023 ticket to the Southeast.
Fielding questions, he disclosed that he stands a better chance if the APC throws the ticket open.
“Of course, you know, the interest of south East, for the seat of presidency in 2023. And, of course, I told Mr. President, that without prejudice to whatever will be the decision of the party, which we shall abide by, that if the party throws the ticket open or zoned to the southern part of Nigeria that I believe that with what I have put in place in the past six years plus, that I’ll be running for the presidency, on the platform of APC.
“So I told him and of course, he believes that whoever wants to run for president of this country must have to consult widely, go to all the leaders and that we must do everything to remove ethnicity and religion in our politics So that this country can grow.”
Umahi said if he gets the endorsement of the party, his presidency will replicate his achievement in Ebonyi state at the national level, saying that he has a lot to show in running governance as a business.
On whether he has made his intention to run known to Ohaneze Ndigbo, Governor Umahi said: “Ohaneze leadership should not play politics. Yes, they can speak for the interest of the southeast, they can speak for fair treatment to south East as people, as a matter of equity, justice and fairness, and leaving a level playing field for all the political parties and the aspirants.
“They should not dabble into politics or whom to support or whom not to support. I think that they hear it just like they heard those of other political parties’ aspirants. We will also write them to notify them that yes, they have capable sons and daughters that if God wills, that could do this job.”