2023 PRESIDENCY: Umahi Expresses Hope In God For Victory

The Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman, South East Governors' Forum, Engineer David Nweze Umahi has declared his interest to contest the position of the President of Nigeria in 2023 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Governor Umahi announced this while speaking with State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock Villa on Tuesday.

Governor Umahi said among other things, he was at the Villa to inform the President of his intention to run for the plum job in the coming dispensation to contribute his quota to national development.

"I told Mr. President that without prejudice to whatever would be the decision of the party which we would all abide by, that if the party throws the ticket open to Southern part of Nigeria, that I believe that with what we have put in place in the past six years, I would be running for Presidency on the platform of the APC. Mr. President believes that whoever wants to be 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 polity so that this Country can grow.

He expressed hope that with the help of God he would be able to replicate his administration's sterling infrastructural transformation in Ebonyi at the National level.

"Power and might belong to God, he chooses whomever he wills and he will do that in 2023, I am not in contest with anybody, I am in a contest with myself, at the end of the day, it is God Almighty and the Political Parties that would decide.

"Mr. President is not a man that says yes and no at the same time, he is a man of integrity, he is a man of his words."

The Governor however expressed optimism that he would do the Nation proud if he is elected President in 2023.

"If it is God's will and the will of people of this country, Umahi's Presidency would be looking at the same thing we did in Ebonyi State. When we came on board, the State was written off, we had nothing to write home about in Infrastructure and I must commend the first two Civilian Governors Dr. Egwu and Chief Elechi. They did quite a lot because they came amid the dust of the Nation which Ebonyi State was pejoratively called and so they had quite a lot of challenges, so I can say they laid the foundation upon which I started to build and so there are a lot of things that we have done in Ebonyi State.

"We have the best Government House you cannot see anywhere, we have the best Exco Chambers, the world standard Medical University, the International Market, The International Airport and lots more and the largest you cannot see anywhere and so we intend to replicate the same thing and I believe that with the little resources we have that people have been asking us how did we do it which is all about patriotism, fear of God, bringing the experience to bare, I have been into construction since I graduated, so I have a lot to give in terms of how to run governance as a business because you have to have the heart to help the people and that is what we have demonstrated in Ebonyi State, so we want to treat the Nation if God permits that what we have done becomes the microcosm of the macrocosm of which we expect, we also believe strongly that we would be able to continue with what Mr. President has done."

Governor Umahi said the visit also allowed him to interact with the President on his proposed state visit to Ebonyi State to commission some completed projects in the State.

"You will recall that in September I came to see Mr. President to invite him to Ebonyi State to commission some of our completed projects and lay the foundation stone for some of our ongoing projects especially the Ebonyi International Airport but while we were in Paris together, I asked him to defer the visit to the first quarter of 2022 which he graciously approved for me, so today I came to reinvite him to come and commission our various projects in Ebonyi State on March 15, 2022, we are working on that.

"I also briefed Mr. President on the ongoing construction of International Airport in Ebonyi State which I requested his assistance, it is taking due process and I believe that if Mr. President finds merit in it, he will assist us to purchase Airport equipment to enable us to commission the Airport about the end of May 2022."

He identified some of the projects the President would be commissioning on March 15 to include the shopping mall, the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu, thirteen flyovers among others.

"We have completed 13 flyovers each of them going between 300-500metres length; we are doing the next two flyovers, we have completed the mall that is not like any other mall in entire West Africa, we have completed a University which we tagged the University of Medical Sciences with all the center of excellence and with all the equipment, you have the artificial birth Centre, you have the best eye Centre, you have the Cancer Centre, you have the Liver Centre, you have the Kidney Centre, you have the Heart surgery Centre and so the Centre is the best of its kind in Africa.

"Mr. President will also be commissioning his very uncommon flyover complex which he laid the foundation stone and this flyover is quite complex and it is Called Muhammad Buhari flyover tunnel.

"He will also see the first Airport in West Africa which its runway is constructed with concrete. Mr. President will also be seeing the three Industrial clusters, Mr. President will be seeing the biggest International Market in West Africa, Mr. President will be seeing over 500km of completed 8-inches concrete roads, Mr. President will be seeing a lot of Agricultural Projects in the State completed, fertilizer Plant, and so on."

Governor Umahi also enjoined the Socio-cultural Igbo Apex Organization the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to shun meddling into Party politics going forward to maintain the integrity of the revered decision-making body.

"Ohaneze leadership should not play politics, yes, they should speak for the interest of South East, they can speak for fair treatment to South East as a people; it is a matter of equity, justice, and fairness, leaving a level playing field for all the Political Parties and aspirants, they should not dabble into politics of whom to support or not to support and I think they should hear it just like they heard other aspirants, we will also write them to notify them that they have capable sons and daughters that if God wills can do this job."

He urged leaders of the South East region to consider negotiations for a political solution to the problems of insecurity in the region.

"One of the greatest problems we have in this Country is ethnicity, religion, and unpatriotic features of a lot of our people and I think there is a need to engage starting from where Mr. President would have stopped.

"As Chairman of South East Governors' Forum, I support a political solution to our insecurity problems in South East and I also mentioned it to MR. President. Political Solution does not terminate the judicial process and if you know Mr. President very well, he would never interfere with the  judicial process, so I believe very strongly that South East proposing for a political solution should be able to engage with Mr. President, after all, there is what is called out of Court settlement but it is for our people and our brother Kanu to be willing so that we can engage for us to have peace in our region because their activities have destroyed a lot of peace in the region, lives have been lost, so we desire peace and we desire to save the lives of our people, so we are willing to engage."

From Francis Nwaze,
Special Assistant to the Governor,
Media and Publicity

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