Dave Umahi, the Ebonyi State Governor, has spoken on the 2023 elections and the parties involved.
Umahi reacted to the presidential bid of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, saying his aspiration is making the South East geo-political zone relevant.
Umahi, who was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to intimate him of the completion of a new Governors’ Lodge in Asokoro, did not openly support the Labour Party candidate, but noted that Obi’s presidential aspiration was good for the region.
Reacting to questions thrown at him on the chances of the APC clinching the Presidency in 2023 going by wide support for the Peter Obi movement, he said only God can actually determine who will eventually win the poll, but wished that his party, the APC would emerge victorious.
Recall that Umahi, a frontline member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crossed over to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) a development that elicited strong reactions within the polity.
Commenting on the crisis still dotting the APC ahead of the general elections, Umahi said such issues will be addressed amicably and the party would come out stronger.
His words, “Well, I think that, you know, we don’t have issues in the APC like the kind of issues that we have in other parties. They say in a big house, you know, there are vessels onto honour and there are vessels onto dishonour. Literally, meaning that there must be some issues in a big house like the APC. But the structure and the spread of APC is such that victory is assured.
“I can assure you that some of the disagreements in some States are going to be resolved. Mechanism has been put in place by Mr. President, the candidate of the party, his vice and then the national chairman and leadership of the party, to sort out those differences. And I think we are well prepared for victory in 2023”.
Responding to questions on whether the South-East is ready for the presidency, relying on what played out in the APC primaries, he said, “What happened during the primaries of PDP and APC, were a kind of miscalculation by people but to say whether they’re ready for the presidency of the country anytime, I think that the movement of Peter Obi is an eye opener.
“That’s why I said, I love what he’s doing. I’m encouraged by what he’s doing. Because if he’s not doing what he’s doing, it means that South East would have been forgotten. So, why my party takes the victory, he would have prepared a very good ground, for the South East Presidency, so that nobody is going to write us off.
“And you can see the level of his acceptability, which does not translate to victory over APC. I’m sure of that, but it’s a good movement. And it reassures the South East people and the entire country that we are accepted, you know, that we will one day become the President of this country. It is very important”.
Asked if the Peter Obi phenomenon contributed to reduced killings in the South East, he said, “You cannot technically assign the killings because of Igbo presidency, you can see that security generally is improving in the country. And it has nothing to do with the movement of Peter Obi.
“Peter Obi movement is a movement that is anchored on equity, justice and fairness. It may not translate to outright win because I must defend my party, I must wish my party well and I’m having the ticket of my party. So but whether what he is doing has meaning in there, not only South East, it does have meaning. So we must never attribute the killings in South East to this kind of movement.
“Peter Obi’s movement and all the movement are authored on God’s will, is only God who knows who will win, but there must be a wish. As a party man, I would wish that our party wins. And if God says no, the next person I wish that should win is Peter Obi. Because I believe strongly and I will say it anywhere that after the north has taken eight years, there is no moral justification for the north to be seeking to take another eight years, it should go to the south.
“So I’m not wishing Peter Obi away. God has the final say and he has the power and gives to whom ever He wishes”
Also asked if Obi has any chance of winning, he responded saying, everybody has chances of winning and chances of losing but you must always have a wish.
“Yes. It’s going to be a different ball game altogether. Because when campaign starts, yes, the interest of our people in terms of presidency is there, you can’t wish it away. But everyone in south east holding the ticket of their party is going to be struggling and he’s going to be fighting. You will not tell the guy that has the ticket of House of Assembly to look at the bigger picture of Igbo presidency. He may not see it but that is not to say that you know Peter Obi is not going to get substantial votes in South East, it is there”.