Outgoing governor of Ebonyi State has dumped his ambition to become the Senate president of Nigeria and has thrown his weight behind Godswill Akpabio, former Minister of Niger Delta.
He has also by his decision dumped support for the Southeast geopolitical zone to produce the number three citizen in the country.
Stakeholders from the zone in the All Progressives Congress, APC, have argued that the zone be allowed to produce Senate president for the sake of “equity, sense of belonging and compensation.”
Umahi made this known in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, when he joined other senators-elect on the platform of the APC for a meeting with the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu, who was in the state for projects commissioning received the senators-elect on Friday in what has been described as the meeting to cement the ambition of Akpabio.
THE WHISTLER gathered that Tinubu would in some days meet with Abdullahi Adamu, the APC National Chairman, to inform him of his position formally so that Akpabio can be adopted by the party as the sole candidate.
However, Umahi’s breakaway from the Southeast bloc means the zone would not occupy the number 1, 2, 3,4 and 5 positions in the government with the post of deputy Speaker now the only available position it could be given, according to sources.
Umahi revealed to Tinubu after being introduced by Akpabio that he has dropped his ambition and would instead support the former Akwa Ibom State governor.
He said, “My brother (Akpabio) came to consult with me. Yesterday, I saw the president-elect on his invitation and he told me that he is already committed, and that please ‘don’t run’. I accepted and stepped down for my brother, Senator Akpabio.
“He is my consensus candidate. I also stepped down for him as the deputy Senate president,” Umahi said.
This is coming weeks after THE WHISTLER reported that Tinubu had dumped the Southeast geopolitical zone for the position of the Senate President during a meeting with the APC leadership before he jetted out of the country.
Akpabio’s position has also received an endorsement from Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno South.
He was also in Port Harcourt and said Akpabio is the president-elect’s preferred choice.
“As you can see, I am leading the campaign for Akpabio because he is the president’s preferred candidate and we have to put the interest of the country, the party, above any other interest,” Ndume said.