Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi State, has the backing of numerous organizations, including Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in his bid to become the 10th Senate president.
Umahi, who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, was elected senator for the Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25.
In a statement signed by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide’s Secretary General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the organisation based its support for Umahi on his demonstrated democratic temperament and “lack of inclination for sectional politics.”
Beyond settling for the South-East for the office of Senate President, the statement emphasized the necessity to select a leader acceptable to all regions of the country and devoid of ethnic or religious bias.
“Umahi fits perfectly! Umahi, who is currently the Senator-elect for the Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone, brought his people into the mainstream of Nigerian politics when other politicians pursued their own interests.
“He has friends on both sides of the divide and has shown tolerance for all social classes. He is the best candidate for the cap.
“In the interest of unity, the gains of Umahi’s proven commitment to one Nigeria, infrastructure and human development, Igbo interest, and the need to galvanize support for our long sought chance to stride to the presidency in the near future, we seek the support of all to enthrone Umahi as the next Senate President,” the statement read in part.
Several Igbo groups, including South East Traditional Rulers, Elders Council, and political organizations, have asked for support for the Governor of Ebonyi, citing his track record in his administration of Ebonyi State from 2015 to the present.
The State Working Committee (SWC) of the APC in Ebonyi State has described Umahi as an ideal candidate for the Senate President position of the 10th National Parliament, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in June.
This was consistent with the SWC’s description of the governor as a man capable of fostering a strong legislative relationship with Bola Tinubu, who would start office on May 29 of this year.
In an open letter addressed to the president-elect and titled “The Quest for a New President of the Nigerian Senate” and signed by Stanley Emegha and Charles Ofoke, Chairman and Secretary of the Ebonyi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, respectively, the working committee based its support for the governor on his ability to effectively lead the red chamber if given the chance.
The letter stated, “The incoming Senator Umahi is an extremely detribalized Nigerian of Ebonyi State descent.” In his interactions with neighboring states, tribes, ethnic, regional, and religious groups around the country, he has repeatedly demonstrated this. The records are available.
“The incoming senator, Umahi, is a tremendously patriotic Nigerian who believes unequivocally in a united, equal-opportunity nation.
“Because of this, he is the only South East Governor to publicly and fearlessly condemn secessionist agitations in the South-east and restate the South East’s commitment to a united and flourishing Nigeria in which all tribes and religions are accommodated.
“As Chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum, he is viewed by the entire Igbo nation as a unifier even outside the borders of the South East geo-political zone, and as someone who tenaciously upholds the motto of one indivisible and indissoluble Nigeria.
“The incoming senator Umahi is a peacemaker and lifeline everywhere he goes. As one who mediates peace between individuals and groups, he will assist the incoming president in mediating peace among disgruntled parties in the country, enlisting their support for the new administration and removing obstacles to the implementation of federal government policies.