UNDER GOVERNOR DAVID UMAHI of Ebonyi State watch – a State controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, traditional rulers in the state, Wednesday, in Government House, endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari, APC presidential candidate, for second term in office, against his party’s PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The traditional rulers endorsed Governor David Umahi, PDP governorship candidate for second term.
Eze Charles Mkpuma, Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council, said the endorsement was in recognition of the robust relationship between the president and the State Governor David Umahi. He said President Buhari deserved their votes irrespective of party differences, citing Buhari’s “determination to tackle insecurity in the country and fight against corruption” as reasons for their endorsement.
Eze Mkpuma’s words: “We appreciate your dogged determination to maintain utmost security of the country especially your effort to eliminate Boko Haram and fight against corruption which has brought respect and integrity to the country among committee of nations”.
“We believe that your robust relationship with our son the governor and your love for him and the state will surely earn you votes in Ebonyi irrespective of party differences. Umahi, has virtually touched every facets of human and infrastructural development of the state. We the traditional rulers like other residents of the state have been rejuvenated and revived by the governor”. Eze Mkpuma added.
Advancing further reasons for endorsing Umahi for second term, the traditional rulers said: “Since the inception of the present democratic dispensation, Ebonyi has operated rotation of the governorship seat among the three senatorial zones.
“Thus, North had eight years with the same man, central had two terms with same man and south is entitled to eight years with the same man. It is right and proper that tradition should continue. This is why we have endorsed incumbent governor David Umahi whose performance has been historic and superlative.” The traditional rulers presented President Buhari with gifts of 1,000 tubers of yam and 1,000 bags rice.
Watching with keen-interest Governor David Umahi’s political manoeuvring in Ebonyi State, observers say they look forward to when Governor Umahi will host his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar in Ebonyi State. What will the traditional rulers be offering Atiku in the presence of Governor Umahi? Would they endorse Atiku and Buhari at the same time for the February 16, presidential election? Who amongst them would actually earned their votes?
Analysts believe Governor Umahi could be playing fast one on his – Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by his seeming double-standard. Should the PDP lose the presidential election, Umahi would be in safe hands of President Buhari. He could also be banking on the president’s support for his second term bid in office. As if he needed the Buhari’s support against the opposition APC candidate in Ebonyi State.
Observers believe Governor Umahi’s brand of politics in Ebonyi State with the opposition APC, especially, at the centre with President Buhari is amateurish. Some see the governor as working for the opposition APC, perhaps with the intention of defecting in the future, if his party, the PDP, did not form government at the centre after the February 16, 2019, presidential election.