By Casmir Igbokwe
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has the heart of a lion. That is the summary of the latest gospel according to Mr Femi Adesina. Last Friday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity revealed in his Facebook series, ‘From the Inside’, that Umahi proved himself to be a lion for the courage he exhibited by dumping the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a piece he titled, ‘Dave Umahi’s Heart of Lion’, Adesina enthused: “My first inkling of what was on the way was about two years ago. There was a meeting of Progressives Governors (as those elected on the platform of APC are called), and Gov Umahi had sent his deputy to attend. A PDP man among APC Governors? Something was definitely cooking. Now, the deed has been done. Gov. Umahi has done what Napoleon couldn’t do. He has officially crossed from the PDP to APC. Only a man with the heart of a lion could do that.” Wonderful!
Now, I am almost convinced that there is something that hypnotises the occupants of Nigeria’s seat of power and makes them act abnormally sometimes. Reuben Abati, who was Adesina’s predecessor in office, said so after his stint as media adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Otherwise, how could a respected former President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors equate Umahi’s chameleonic act to having a lion’s heart?
Adesina was not done yet. He said though the APC was yet to come out with its zoning formula, Umahi had the right to aspire for any position in government in 2023 as long as he could muster the needed support and momentum for victory. The speculation is that Umahi switched camp to facilitate his presumed ambition to become the President of Nigeria in 2023.
The presidential spokesman regaled us with how the APC’s new catch loved President Muhammadu Buhari and how Ebonyi reaped the dividend of that love by being the first ever state Buhari visited and passed the night in. “Umahi was PDP in the exterior, but APC at heart,” he concluded.
It rankles when certain treacherous acts are given the baptismal name of courage. The major reason Umahi gave for switching camp was that the PDP had let the South-East down in the last 21 years. This is a party that made him state chairman, deputy governor for eight years and now governor running his second term in office. He said he didn’t defect to the APC because of his presidential ambition.
Hear him: “My next line of action after my governorship is in God’s hands and there is nothing God cannot do. Anyone wishing to contest for the presidency or governorship of the state should meditate and pray that God should not send him if God’s spirit is not with such person. This is because it is going to be very tough and we are really in the end time.” Laughable!
I have always known that religion is a potent tool in the hands of politicians. Whenever they want to play some tricks, they resort to manipulating the minds of people by pretending to be God’s messengers. I am sure Umahi struck the chord with some Christians when he said we were really in the end time and that his next move was in God’s hands. Child of God indeed!
But only God knows those who call His name genuinely and those who call Him in vain. Some Nigerians also know those who are patriots and those who hide under fighting for their people to champion selfish interests.
Speculations had been ripe since three years ago or so that Umahi would defect to the APC. His reported ambition to run for the presidency had been suspected to be behind his moves. Recall that billionaire businessman, Arthur Eze, had reportedly told some traditional rulers from Ebonyi that Buhari might hand over to Umahi in 2023. The governor has been kowtowing to the president and using every available opportunity to show how he loves him. In the 2019 presidential election, Buhari miraculously scored 25 per cent of votes in Ebonyi State.
One thing I detest with most politicians is the penchant to speak from both sides of the mouth. Umahi had vehemently denied the move to dump the PDP for the APC when the rumour was strong. A few months ago, the governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze, denied the defection move, saying it’s “a product of a figment of imagination on the part of the carriers.” He wondered how people were easily persuaded to believe in fake dummies in the name of rumours.
In July 2018, Umahi had similarly denied planning to leave the PDP. He said, “I have always insisted in character. People that jump from one party to the other should examine their characters, except if there is any problem within your party. As for today, till tomorrow until Christ comes, there is no crisis in PDP. Even if there is a need for me to leave PDP, I can never leave PDP to the kind of APC in Ebonyi State because with the kind of leaders in Ebonyi APC, leaders that have failed Ebonyi State, I can never be on the same political platform with them.”
In October 2018, Umahi could not hide his anger when the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, announced Mr. Peter Obi as the vice-presidential candidate of the party in the 2019 election. He opposed it because Atiku did not consult him before announcing the decision. He further clarified that he opposed Obi’s candidacy because two names of the nominees came from Anambra, two from Abia and one from Enugu, but none from Ebonyi and Imo. He said one of the reasons an Ebonyi man was against regions in the country was the fear of further marginalisation.
My intervention on this page titled, ‘Whither art thou David Umahi?’, published on October 22, 2018, sums up the character of Adesina’s hero: “Umahi appears to be hiding behind one finger in his political actions and utterances. Did he kick against the nomination of Obi because he was not consulted or because he wanted an Ebonyi man instead? He not only described his critics on this issue as uninformed, but also said they were not human beings. This is too shallow a statement to emanate from a governor.
“A number of people, rightly or wrongly, have classified Umahi as having a PDP body and an APC soul. In November 2017, he reportedly endorsed the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari. There is nothing wrong with this, you might say. But it puts a question mark on his loyalty to his party. You cannot blow hot and cold at the same time.
“Governor Umahi should do all in his power to cure this negative perception of him before it becomes cancerous. He may have good intentions for Ebonyi people. But he needs to solve the conflict between his selfish interests and the general interests of the people.” There is nothing else to add!
Re: Between community policing and army’s spiritual warfare
Dear Casy, it is difficult to defeat the terrorists because when you are into trading of female slaves and you are, also, having sexual intercourse with them, they become difficult to sell. Again, he who destroys in order to get to the top shall meet sentry at the gate. We, desperately, wrestled power from Jonathan and, in the process, created all manner of monsters that we are, today, finding difficult to cage. The observed insincerity and perfunctory approach in the prosecution of the war against terror can be likened to the biblical David’s dispatch of Uriah to the warfront. The result? Fatalities that are laced with executive falsehood of degrading the terrorists. The recourse to military spiritual warfare indicates nothing but failure. Community Policing: will corruption and other Nigerian negative factors that usually amputate good concepts allow it to stand?
-Steve Okoye, Awka. 08036630731.
Dear Casmir, the problem with the armed forces is sabotage not poor weapons. Up till now, one can’t rule out the fact that amongst elitist citizens and even soldiers, there could be Boko Haram loyalists. So prayer or no prayer, cleansing of saboteurs should be carried out.
– Cletus Frenchman, Enugu, +2349095385215
Dear Casy, the Nigeria army’s spiritual warfare against the terror war is dead on arrival. if the Nigerian armed forces want to win the terror war through spiritual angle they will start from the eastern Nigeria where their first genocide that claimed three million defenceless unarmed innocent Igbos and their neigbours were killed by Gowon and his feudal Fulani lords and also Asaba, Odi, Zakibiam, Afaraukwu, Aba, Obigbo, Lekki etc. They must start their vigil night. Buratai and his ilk in Nigerian military are chasing rats while their homes are on fire. The junior ranks are shortchanged over their welfare and are grumbling. God bless the good ones among them with this Burantai spiritual abracadabra. He has indicted himself and should retire. Restructuring remains the best alternative in the midst of this chaos.
-Eze Chima C. Lagos, +2347036225495
Spiritual warfare by the military is a proof that spiritual controls the physical. Let’s recall that King Hezekiah fought spiritual war against King of Assyria called Sennacherib as recorded in Isaiah 37: 15-20. God answered his prayers as recorded in vs 37-38.Wilson Churchill fought spiritual war against Hitler. God answered Wilson’s prayers hence Hitler suffered the same fate like the Carthaginian General called Hanibal.
-Mr. Chinedu Ekwuno (JP), 08063730644
Whatever Nigerian security agencies should do to bring security in Nigeria is highly welcome. Nigeria has become a laughing stock in the eyes of international community over insecurity.
-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +2348062887535
Also published in the Daily Sun of Monday, December 14, 2020.