An embittered Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, on Sunday announced that he is pulling Ebonyi State out of any regional South-East or Ohanaeze Ndigbo agenda but would henceforth pursue the interest of his State only.
Again declaring that he would only pursue Ebonyi agenda only, Governor Umahi categorically stated that “Ebonyi will never be Biafra.”
The Governor, who decried the alleged marginalization of the people of Ebonyi State in the South East region, chided President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, for his alleged role in the failure of the aspirants from the region in the just concluded presidential primaries.
Stating that he no longer recognizes Obiozor as the President-General of the pan-Igbo body, Umahi blamed him for his loss at the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), alleging that the Igbo leader was partisan “instead of making himself a rallying point during the struggle for the presidency of Igbo extraction.”
The Ebonyi State, who was visibly angry, spoke at a reception in his honour by his supporters after the APC presidential ticket contest in Abuja, accused Obiozor of failure to stand for the South-East region when it mattered most, saying: “It is a very big shame, I have no confidence in him and he is no longer my President.”
He also lambasted delegates from other South-East States, who, according to him, sold their votes to willing buyers instead of standing in defence of the calls for Igbo Presidency.
According to Umahi: “I am the Governor of Ebonyi State, the only agenda I have for the South-East now is ‘Ebonyi Agenda.’ I continue to say that he who sells his brother, even the buyer will not trust him.
“Anyone that fights against the interest of Ebonyi people in the South-East, I will fight the person publicly. Ndigbo, get your PVC and bond together, you have seen that nobody wants you anymore. We have the fighting spirit and the spirit of our founding fathers has been rekindled to fight for us. When honourable people are needed in the South-East, they will come to Ebonyi State. Everything is not money.”
“First, let me say to the Ebonyi people, you are wonderful people. The presidential (primary) election was a great eye-opener to every son and daughter of Ebonyi State and with your support, we fought very gallantly.
“I had a series of meetings with the party’s chairmen in the five States of the zone in the company with its national Vice Chairman. I implored the delegates that the issue was not about me but the mood of the Igbo in the nation.
“I implored that they should vote for any South-East aspirant so that when the votes are counted, we would not be missing.
“We would have made a strong statement in the process, that the Igbo are eminently qualified with due capacity to lead the country,
“There was no sort of lobbying I did not receive but I maintained that it was about bringing the marginalisation of the Igbo to the forefront.
“The setting of the nation is well-skewed against any contest for the Igbo man, while every zone has about eight states or more, and the South-East has only five. How do you expect an Igbo man to win a contest under this kind of arrangement?
“Prof. Obiozor could not stand for the Igbo when it mattered most; it is a very big shame, I have no confidence in him and he is no longer my President-General.
“In the comity of South-East, Ebonyi people are not regarded. I continue to say that Ebonyi will never be Biafra.
“I weep for our leaders; we are now regarded as people that will sell anything for the sake of money; it is about equity, justice, and fairness upon which I continue to shout for the unity of this country.”