The noise and angry reactions trailing the eventual defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi to the ruling All Progressives Congress-APC are enormous such that the discussion has refused to abate over one week after the deed was done.
Most PDP leaders, members, supporters and fans call Umahi all sorts of unprintable names, casting aspersions and heaping effervescent curses on the man. Umahi’s sin is not that he is an under-performer in governance or that he possibly stole and squandered the common patrimony of Ebonyi people. His only sin was that he took “a selfish decision” common among Nigerian politicians.
What was that “ill-advised decision”? he jumped the ship and ditched a political party that many argued made him all he is politically today. Granted, politics is such a dirty game, full of men of dishonour and zero level reputation. The few men and women with average integrity in politics are not allowed to get elected or last long in office when elected but Gov. Dave Umahi in this his latest voyage did not completely err, he did the right thing for his own interest and the common interest of Ndigbo.
We in the Nigerian Newsguide for a very long time now, have been at the fore-front of the campaign and agitation for Igbo presidency come 2023. A lot of Ndigbo of a truth do not, even up till now believe in this struggle, they rather push and ‘endlessly’ wait for our Biafra to come. We have cried, appealed and begged our people (Ndigbo) to keep hope alive as per Biafra but never remain apolitical and politically irrelevant in a Nigeria that belongs to all of us at least for now.
We have equally made appeals to the PDP and APC to possibly zone their 2023 presidential tickets to the southeast just like the PDP did for southwest in 1998/1999. It is however note worthy that but for the pro-Yoruba sentiment then, our leader and co-founder of PDP Dr Alex Ekwueme ordinarily would have emerged PDP Presidential standard bearer in 1998 ahead of 1999 election.
Against the backdrop of our appeal and pleas and that of many positive-minded Nigerians, discussions have begun in earnest as per the need to give Southeast a chance to take a shot at the most elevated and highly revered political office in Nigeria.
The All Progressives Congress as a party appears to have unofficially heard our prayers and their body language points to the fact that their 2023 presidential ticket will be a reserve for the South East. The trio of Gov. El-Rufai of Kaduna, Dr. Chris Ngige (Minister of Labour & Productivity) and Chief Osita Okechukwu, a chieftain of APC have all made widely reported statements suggesting that the party would reserve its presidential ticket for the South because of zoning arrangement in APC. Till date, APC leadership has not countered their pro-south statements.
PDP on the other hand has refused to do a rebuttal on the careless and non-strategic statements of its national Chairman, Uche Secondus in Bauchi early October to the effect that PDP’s presidential ticket 2023 is open to all, as there will be no zoning arrangement. Secondus was in Bauchi alongside Governors Wike, Tambuwal and Ex-Senate President, David Mark. To make matters worse was a terse statement made by Ex-Gov Gabriel Suswan of Benue recently also to the effect that PDP’s presidential ticket for 2023 is strictly for the North. As we write, PDP has not countered this arrogant postulation of Suswan.
Since 1999, PDP had won all elections in the South East up to 96% and we beg to ask why the party has chosen to be most unfair and uncharitable to South East. Credible information available to us which Gov. Wike validated on 18-11-2020 on Channels TV flagship programme “Politics Today” has it that a Tambuwal would pair with an Wike on the PDP ticket in 2023 and that’s all.
We commend therefore Gov. Umahi for stirring the hornets’ nest, taking the bull by the horn. South East deserves fair treatment in Nigeria and we say no to anything short of the presidency in 2023. We call on the PDP to make a statement and possibly zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the southeast, otherwise, we must not fail to encourage other Southeast governors to join Umahi in his latest voyage.
Umahi’s exit from PDP has truly gingered, precipitated a new era of bold discussions and demands for southeast presidency come 2023 by prominent Igbo leaders in all facets of life.