2023: Umahi Confesses To Supporting Obi, After Tinubu

Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and chairman of South East Governors

The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, has surprisingly admitted that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, would receive large number of votes from the South-East in the 2023 presidential election. But the governor opined that his party, the All Progressives Congress, would win the election in the end.

Umahi, who contested the APC presidential primary but lost to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described himself as a loyal party man rooting for the APC to win the election.

Speaking to State House Correspondents shortly after a private visit to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Friday, he told journalists that his visit was to invite the President to inaugurate the new N1.2bn Governor’s Lodge in Abuja by mid-October.

Umahi said the massive support for Obi showed the South-East would not be forgotten in Nigeria’s politics. He said despite the Labour Party’s poise to take the bulk of the South-East’s votes, the APC would emerge victorious in the 2023 presidential election.

He said: “It’s going to be a different ball game altogether because when the campaign starts, yes, the interest of our people in terms of presidency is there, you can’t wish it away but everyone in the South-East holding the ticket of their party is going to be struggling.

“You will not tell the guy that has the ticket of the House of Assembly to look at the bigger picture of Igbo presidency. He may not see it but that is not to say that Peter Obi is not going to get substantial votes in the South-East.

“But the structure and the spread of the 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 running mate and the national chairman and leadership of the party to sort out our differences. I think we are well prepared for victory in 2023.”

Asked how he felt that the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party did not produce a South-Easterner as the candidate, he said the region miscalculated, “but to say whether they are ready for the presidency of the country anytime, I think 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 the South-East would have been forgotten. So, while my party takes the victory, he would have prepared a very good ground for the South-East presidency, so nobody is going to write us off.

“You can see the level of his acceptability, which does not translate to victory over the APC. I’m sure of that, but it’s a good movement. It reassures the South-East people and the entire country that we are accepted and that we will one day become the president of this country. It is very important.”

GOCOP

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