The hullabaloo was really unnecessary. He is the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum. Hence, you would expect that David Umahi would be the first person to hail the nomination of former Governor Peter Obi as the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But he chose to oppose it on the flimsy excuse that the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, did not consult him and his co-travellers before announcing it.
The question then arises, whither art thou Dave? The Ebonyi State governor made some clarifications: “We must take decisions against the marginalisation of Ebonyi people because, if we have to vote, we must be treated with equity. Two names of the nominees came from Anambra, two from Abia and one from Enugu, but none came from Ebonyi and Imo. What is wrong with somebody from Ebonyi and Imo? If you must know, one of the reasons an Ebonyi man is against regions in the country is the fear of further marginalisation,” he said.
Who is marginalising you Mr. Governor and how? A few months ago, the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, renamed a street in Awka, the state capital, to Club Street. It was formerly named after the Ebonyi State capital, Abakaliki. This change, according to Obiano, was necessitated by the fact that the street was where most of the nightclubs in the town were located. He renamed another street after Abakaliki.
That common and simple decision drew the marginalisation bile in Umahi. And he made much fuss about what could have been an innocent action. He felt Obiano took the decision because of the stigmatisation of Abakaliki as a backward city and reminded whoever cared to listen that the town had become the fastest developing and the most beautiful state capital in Nigeria. This is something he could have easily sorted out with Obiano without much media noise.
Umahi appears to be hiding behind one finger in his political actions and utterances. Did he kick against the nomination 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.
In any case, Atiku did not need to consult anybody before making his choice known. If he had done that, Umahi and Co. would have scuttled it. Recall that immediately after the PDP convention in Port Harcourt, a national newspaper had published a story quoting authoritative sources as saying that Anambra had been ruled out of the vice-presidential race. Reason, according to the unknown campaigners, was because the state had produced vice-president and even president before. Really!
What Umahi and Co. did not understand was that, while they were busy conspiring against one another, Obi was busy making himself relevant. He attended many courses in the best of universities abroad. He engaged in humanitarian causes in different parts of Nigeria. And he became the toast of youths with his motivational and practical speeches on leadership. He may have also made huge contributions towards Atiku’s emergence as a presidential candidate. And you think the man will leave him for another person simply because Anambra had produced a vice-president before?
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.
Besides, in September 2017, soldiers occupied many parts of Igboland in what they termed Operation Python Dance. They even killed some civilians along the line, especially in Umuahia. Rather than condemn the action like many people of conscience did, the South-East Governors Forum, led by Umahi, pronounced a ban on the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra. This invariably contributed to the proscription of the organisation by the Federal Government.
Governor Umahi should do all in his power to cure this growing 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.
Re: Atiku and Peter Obi combination
READ ALSO: Atiku and Peter Obi combination
Casmir Igbokwe, I raise up my hands and even legs for your wonderful observations. People who did not understand Peter Obi’s plan were accusing him of being ‘aradite fist’. However, by the time he started to change the ‘ugly face’ of Anambra state, those people praised his vision. I am from Nawfia in Njikoka LGA of the state. He tarred the road that passed in front of my house from old Awka-Onitsha to join the expressway. Only evil-minded people will fault Atiku-Peter Obi combination.
-Pharm. Okwy Njike, +2348038854922
ATIKULATE + OKWUTE = HOPE FOR NIGERIA! You are right Casmir. We look forward to a mighty deliverance. I hereby raise up my hand in salute.
-Col. RN Oputa (retd), +2348033206191
Sir, “If you agree with me, raise up your hand. If you don’t, please hold your peace.” Haha … in fact, you are funny. Thumbs up!
-Nonso A., +2348037989242
Dear Igbokwe, I’m not surprised the Ebonyi governor and his co-travellers are against Peter Obi’s choice as running mate. His utterances have been against the Igbo since he became governor. He has never spoken against the killing of Igbo and other Nigerians by the Fulani criminals. The grievance for the choice of Obi is that Ebonyi and Abia states people are using Peter Obi’s lot of good work and governance in Anambra as a standard of mockery to them. Peter is president-in-waiting after Atiku, if they win, by the special grace of God and with the prayers of Nigerians who lost their relations. Because of bad leadership of the APC government, the PDP shall win. I thank Atiku for making the best selection for a running mate.
-O.P. Anaekwe, +2348037275839
My hand is up. Remain blessed.
Casmir, you did open the eyes of most Nigerians on the man Peter Obi through that piece. Truly speaking, it is not natural for everyone to love a leading light among the Igbo such as Peter Obi. But it is good that opposition or objection to Obi’s appointment is coming from the envious APC moles in the PDP, apostles of python dance, those who betrayed the Igbo youth to remain in power. We shall see. God bless Obi!
I concur sir. Nigeria will be far better off with Atiku/Obi administration than this tribal, nepotistic, clueless and corrupt government.
There is nothing wrong with the Buhari and Osinbajo combination. No team can solve our national problems by a mere wave of the hand. What is important is that the Buhari team is repositioning the nation on good track by seeking to remove the ills that had set her back. It takes maturity of mind for one to quickly know that a bright future awaits us. I do not see any depth in Atiku telling Nigerians that he will restructure the country under six months. Where is he to derive powers? Is he a military dictator? What happens to elected persons when he restructures the country?
-Barr Ngozi Ogbomor, +2348033397362
Ndigbo should not be carried away because Alhaji Atiku picked an lgbo man (Mr. Peter Obi) as his vice president. But can Atiku carry Obi along for him to perform as he did in Anambra State, if they are elected? Ndigbo should not put all their eggs in one basket because of Obi, to avoid what happened to us in 2015 repeating again in 2019. We must vote wisely in the 2019 general election.
-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +2348062887535
Oga Casmir, please, why are Ndigbo very gullible and naive to the political scheming of the Hausa/Fulani? Atiku had, while campaigning for the primaries, promised to go for just a term with a view to giving Ndigbo a chance. If he is to be believed, will it then not be for Ndigbo to agree on who his running mate should be, one that will take over from him? Why would he hand-pick the person? Is it not obvious to you that he and they want the person that will be doing their bidding?
- First published in The Sun of Monday, October 22, 2018.