The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has revealed that he was still saddened by the outcome of the presidential primaries of both All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party respectively.
Umahi, who doubles as the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, expressed displeasure over the role played by the people of the South-East geopolitical zone, saying the zone hid and seek attitude during the primaries, raised a question about their said agitation for Igbo Presidency.
A statement signed by the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Francis Nwaze, said Umahi stated this in Abakaliki, while receiving members of the Ebonyi State Founding Fathers, on Saturday.
According to the Governor, the South-Easterners didn’t demonstrate the clamour of the Igbo Presidency, during the primaries.
The statement, which was obtained by our correspondent, quoted Umahi as saying, “My heart is saddened by the outcome of the APC and PDP presidential primaries because when we were saying that we are clamouring for South-East president and it was time to demonstrate it.
“The South-East people couldn’t demonstrate it, so, it caused a lot of doubts on the sincerity of South-East on their quest but if not for anything else, I have achieved a state with proven character and content, we must be very proud of ourselves and we know that in God’s time, it will come to pass.
“My defection to All Progressives Congress, APC, was in the interest of the state and South-East in general but it was misjudged because if our people had taken my reasons seriously, probably, we would have been differently treated especially in the party that we have invested so much in since 1999. But at the end of the day, I became a prophet because all I predicted came to pass.”
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Umahi expressed satisfaction with the roles of delegates from Ebonyi State during the just concluded APC presidential election, explaining it was an indication that Ebonyians were people of character and content.
He further informed the founding fathers of his wish for an elaborate celebration of his last democracy day as the governor of the state by October.“Let me inform you that we are going to have an elaborate celebration of Ebonyi at 26 years in October, that should be my last by God’s grace and the founding fathers will play a cardinal role during the celebration.
“In the rotation of the governorship position in the state, if the North has gone, the central has gone and the South, it is equitably correct for it to go back to the North. So, within my 9 to 10 months as the governor, I want the founding fathers to discover their feats and play their roles. The founding fathers are expected to come in between the line to even resolve communities’ bad blood.
“The Founding Fathers should up their game in the making of the next governor of the state. When it was decision time on who becomes the next governor, some people believed that it should be retained in Ebonyi South, you were there when I publicly declared that nobody from the South is expected to contest for the position of the next governor and so, I have to set up a committee.
“The committee went round and came back and say that the next rotation should start from the north and I stood by that. I expect that the founding fathers will play another significant role in maintaining equity, justice, and fairness.
“I expect you all to be vocal about equity, fairness, and justice for the peace of the state. What is just is for the North to start the second circle, after the North, the central, and then the South. So, I charge you to begin to draw the charter of equity now. People will say that it is a charter of equity written in the heart, but we are alive, and I will support you to do justice to that. I have demonstrated equity, fairness, and justice to the task, leverage on that, and be vocal about it. I will not want the south or central to make the mistake that will hunt them tomorrow.”
Leader of the delegation, Chief Francis Orji, commended Umahi for his excellent performance in the recently concluded APC primaries, declaring that the governor won in their heart.
Orji said, “We are aware that your excellency asked for the number one seat in this country, the presidency, you moved on – campaigned very vigorously in every part of Nigeria – Northcentral, Northeast, Northwest, South-West, South-South, and South-East.” Punch