Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has said Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate for the 2023 election, has ensured that Igbos remain in the national consciousness and mainstream of Nigerian politics.
Speaking on Friday while addressing State House reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Umahi said he loves what Obi is doing because he’s widely accepted.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor said although his support is for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, his party’s candidate, “only God knows who will win”.
Umahi said the meeting was to invite Buhari for the commissioning of about N1.2 billion Governor’s Lodge at Asokoro, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The governor, who lost the APC presidential ticket in June, said South East would have been forgotten if Obi had decided not to participate in the current electioneering process.
He expressed optimism that a candidate from South East would eventually become President of Nigeria during post 2023 elections.
When asked if the South East was ready for the presidency, Umahi said: “What happened during the primaries of PDP and APC, were a kind of miscalculation by people, but to say whether they are ready for the presidency of the country anytime, I think that 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 that 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 that nobody is going to write us off. And you can see the level of his acceptability, which does not translate to victory over APC. I’m sure of that, but it’s a good movement. And it reassures the South East people and entire country that, we are accepted, you know, that we will one day become the president of this country. It is very important.”
On whether he was dismissing Obi’s movement, the governor said: “Peter Obi’s movement and all the movement are authored on God’s will, it’s only God who knows who knows who will win, but there must be a wish. As a party man, I would wish that our party wins. And if God says no, the next person I wish that should win is Peter Obi.
“Because I believe strongly and I will say it anywhere in this North/South presidency, after the North has taken eight years, there is no moral justification for the North to be seeking to take another eight years, it should go to the South. And so, I’m not wishing Peter Obi away. God has the final say and he has the power and gives to whomever He wishes.”