2023: I Won’t Feel Cheated If APC Denies South-East Presidential Ticket – Dave Umahi
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has said that he would not feel “any sense of injustice” should the All Progressives Congress (APC) fail to zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the South East.
Umahi, who is the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, had announced his intention to run for the 2023 presidency after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
He became the third APC chieftain to formally declare his interest in the office after the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and fellow South East politician and Senator representing Abia North, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Umahi, who had hinged his reason for joining the APC on “the injustice being done to South East by the PDP since 1998 till date,” said that he would consider it “a favour” if APC decides to zone its ticket to the region.
“I didn’t decamp from the PDP to fly the ticket of the APC. On the issue of zoning, I am still a new person in the APC and whatever thing I get in terms of my desire, I will consider as favours from God and favours from the leaders of the party. I will not feel any sense of injustice as an APC member or for joining APC and its not zoned to our side,” Umahi said during his appearance on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ monitored by THE WHISTLER on Wednesday.
He however added that, “looking at it generally about the sentiments being expressed by all the sections of the society and to move the nation forward and for absolute unity and peace, it is important that equity, fairness and justice should come to be to enable this nation move forward.
“And nobody is saying if you don’t zone it to the South East, the nation will not move forward but I think that if a nation is built on fairness, equity and justice, then there’s sure going to be progress and prosperity.”
Asked how he plans to move the country forward in the event that he becomes president, Umahi said: “The major priorities that would move Nigeria forward is to sit down with all the leaders of all the regions, various institutions of our polity and to begin to discuss. And it’s simple, the question is do we agree to move this country forward? This country cannot continue the way it is and we expect the youths to fold their arms. For me, it is a keg of gunpowder and it has nothing to do with who is the president and who is not the president. So, the patriotism must be on the first agenda of my intentions.
“The second one is how to unite this country and the unity of this country is very important. If everybody knows that we are in the same ship and if the ship capsizes that we all go down, and so we begin to know that and then to discuss about how to grow the economy. And I think that with God’s grace, knowledge and with my business background and of course my professional background and working with the leaders and God, I think that these things are very possible.”
Meanwhile, Umahi’s declaration made him the third politician from the South-East to formally indicate interest in the 2023 presidency.
Former Senate President and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, had on Friday declared interest in the presidency and urged all political parties in the country to “take the fair, just and equitable decision of zoning their presidential slots to the South, particularly the South-east region.”
On Tuesday, former Abia Governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, reiterated his readiness to run for president.
Kalu said he was prepared to slug it out with Tinubu to clinch the APC presidential ticket.
“I do not see Tinubu’s aspiration having any effect on the President of Nigeria coming from the Igbo area. Because we are talking based on what Nigeria should be. We are talking based on what people should believe. Obasanjo has been President for eight years. Osinbajo is doing eight years as Vice President. And no Igbo man since independence has been a democratically elected President. So it is always good to think of what is reasonable and what will be more sellable,” Kalu was quoted as telling journalists on Thursday in Abuja.
“I’m the most prepared Presidential candidate in Nigeria. I’m capable healthwise, I’m capable as a person, I’m capable in my pocket. I’m capable to face anybody. But the party is supreme. I only wait for APC as a party.
“For me, contesting for President is not the issue. The issue is who is going to lead the country into an economic miracle, into a turnaround. I’m not against Tinubu. If it’s zoned to his area and the party said he should go. Well, the party is supreme. I’m only waiting for the party.”