It’s now apparently clear that Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State is poised to contest the 2023 presidential election. Interpretatively, the ultimatum given to PDP and its national chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, by the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, to place its presidential ticket to the South East, is enough indication to this point.
Again, since 2015, Umahi has been, on several occasions, linked with President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC government. In other words, Umahi has soft spot for the president at a time most Igbo people are not favorably disposed to him. Political watchers view this as a way by which the governor worms himself to the president.
It must also be recalled that besides party rallies and electioneering, the only state Buhari has made a presidential visit to in the South East was Ebonyi.
Again in 2017 when Buhari was away for 106 days thereby causing fears that he may not be physically feat to rule again, Umahi stood by the president and identified by him.
On his return, Umahi visited him, claiming that he supported Buhari because the retired general was the country’s predident and Ebonyi was a fedrating state.
This romance with Buhari makes Umahi unpopular in the South East as he is being accused of being a surrogate of the Fulani oligarchy – a stand that may even play out positively for him.
In performance, Umahi has built about five excellent bridges. He has constructed and reconstructed quality roads in the state. In the past five years, Umahi has lifted the standard of education, health care delivery and rural development in the state.
The capital, Abakaliki that used to be a ghost town is now one of the best state headquarters in South East zone.
Politically, there are fears that Umahi does have the required national flavour needed to carry out an expensive and tedious task like a presidential election.
For instance, who and who in the South East are on the same page with Umahi? Who are his anchor men in the South – South and who are his arrow men in the South West? At a time when almost all Political heavyweight politicians in the south point to one northern politician or the other, who can Umahi point at to?
Certainly, the quick action with which the South East Governors Forum with Umahi as the chairman complied with the Federal Government’s proscription of IPOB having tagged it a terrorist group never portrayed Umahi in good lighting among the Igbo youths.
Looking at the above picture of Umahi, can he be the man for the elusive search for an Igbo president of Nigeria in 2023?
Does he have the true identity of an Igbo with vision, industry, ingenuity, capacity and courage? The way you have observed Umahi, right from when he was the deputy governor and the issues that played out to skyticket him as the governor, and his report card in the last five years, can he fill the Igbo slot in 2023?