Southern govs including Wike believe in Southern Presidency — Umahi

September 3, 2022


•Says ‘Wike remains my friend; I’m proud of Peter Obi’

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi has challenged his colleagues in the South to have the honour to admit that they all believed in having a Nigerian president from the South just like the Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike is currently doing.

In an Arise Television breakfast show on Friday, Umahi said all Southern Governors had initially agreed that the presidency should be rotated on the basis of North and South, challenging his colleagues to have the honour to admit that they believe in having a Southern presidency.

He also dismissed reports that he had recently met with Gov. Wike in London, adding however that he remained a personal friend of the Rivers helmsman.

Umahi said; “I just came back from an eight day trip to Dubai and I was reading in the social media that Wike and some others met in London. I was never in London and the immigration service can testify. Wike is my brother and good friend. We had quarrels and when you have quarrels, their might be anger and that anger might not be a holy anger. We were best of friends even till the time I left PDP and you know when your best friend leaves you, you know how bitter it will be. We have since reconciled and we are moving together.

“Let me also let you know that Wike and all the Southern Governors believe in southern presidency and this is the spirit that is flogging the PDP even though I don’t like to be talking about another party but all the Southern Governors came together and agreed that presidency should rotate between North and South and I think that every southern governor should have the honour to abide by that decision. Wike is a fine gentleman, he has a very good heart, he is a very good man and those things were not said from the bottom of the heart but from the lips and borne out of anger at the time”.

On Igbo presidency which he had championed before and the fate of the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, the Ebonyi governor said; “I foresaw that the PDP was not going to give its presidential ticket to an Igbo man and I said no, that was not fair because we had served this party since 1999. That was my position. A lot of people crying today were the people who were attacking me for leaving the party at that state but subsequently, they left. They owe me a lot of apologies. “Peter Obi is my brother. I am proud of what he is doing and it would have been a disaster if the Southeast was not heard at all in the quest for the presidency and I wish him well. What happened to me at the presidential primaries was the will of God.

“Peter Obi is my friend, and I am going to host him in Ebonyi and I will do that publicly. I like what he is doing and it is very encouraging. I have never mentioned him in my interviews and that is it. Campaigns have not started”.

Asked whether he has sacrificed the quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction for the electoral victory of his party, Umahi said “no comment”. Umahi also rued the marginalization of Ebonyi people within the Southeast.

He said; “Just like the South East people are crying of marginalization in Nigeria, we in Ebonyi are also crying of marginalization within the South East. We want to be given opportunity to aspire and I think that what we want is that where are opportunities for the South East, we should be treated equally to vie for the highest positions when they are made available for the South East”.

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