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2023 Presidency : Peter Obi’s Movement Strengthens Igbo Chances of Clinching Presidency- Gov Umahi

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2023 Presidency : Peter Obi’s Movement Strengthens Igbo Chances of Clinching Presidency- Gov Umahi

The Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, on Friday, affirmed that the rising profile of the movement behind the Peter Obi presidential ambition is an indication that the South-East can no longer be ignored in national politics.

Speaking to correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, he said with the popularity of the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and former Governor of Anambra State, the South East region environment is being primed for the presidency in the near future.

The governor maintained that even though he is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and wants the ruling party to win the 2023 elections, he is thrilled by the momentum created by the Obi movement because is awakening awareness about the people of the South-East and their political relevance.

He said: “What happened during the primaries of PDP and APC were a kind of miscalculation by our people, but to say whether they’re ready for the presidency of the country anytime, I think that the movement of Peter Obi is an eye opener and that’s why I said I love what he’s doing, I’m encouraged by what he’s doing because if he’s not doing what he’s doing, it means that Southeast would have been forgotten.

“So, while my party takes the victory, he would have prepared a very good ground for the South-East presidency, so that nobody is going to write us off and you can see the level of his acceptability, which does not translate to victory over APC, I’m sure of that. But it’s a good movement and it reassures the Southeast people and the entire country that we’re accepted and that we’ll one become the President of this country. It’s very important.

“Peter Obi’s movement, and all the movements, are anchored on God’s will, it’s only God who knows who will win, but there must be a wish. As a party man, I would wish that our party wins and if God says no, the next person I’ll wish that should win is Peter Obi because I believe strongly, and I will say it anywhere, in this north/south presidency.

“After the North has taken eight years, there is no moral justification to be seeking to take another eight years, it should go to the South. So, I’m not wishing Peter Obi away. God has the final say and He has the power and gives to whomever He wishes.”

The Ebonyi governor distanced the relative peace in the South-East region from the emergence of Obi as a presidential candidate, apportioning the development instead to the improved security in the country.

Asked whether there was any connection between the lull in attacks in the region and Obi, Umahi argued: “You cannot technically assign the killings to Igbo presidency. You can see that security is improving generally in the country and it has nothing to do with the movement of Peter Obi.

“Peter Obi movement is a movement that is anchored on equity, justice and fairness.

“It may not translate to outright win, because I must defend my party, I must wish my party well, and I’m having the ticket of my party.

“But whether what he’s doing has meaning in, not only Southeast, it does have meaning. So, we must never attribute the killings in the Southeast to this kind of movement.”

On the chances of the APC in the South-East in 2023, the governor noted that the people will vote based on their interests.

The governor stated: “It’s going to be a different ballgame altogether because when campaigns start, the interest of our people. in terms of presidency, is there, you can’t wish it away, but everyone in South-East, holding the ticket of their party, is going to be struggling and he’s going to be fighting.

“You will not tell the guy that has the ticket of House of Assembly to look at the bigger picture of Igbo presidency. He may not see it. But that is not to say that Peter Obi is not going to get substantial votes in Southeast, it’s there.”

Governor Umahi revealed that he met President Buhari to invite him to commission the new Ebonyi State Governor’s Lodge, constructed by his administration in Asokoro, Abuja.

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