Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, has endorsed member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Linus Okorie, for the third term, appealing to the people of old Ohaozara political bloc to drop their ambition for senatorial position of the South zone in 2019.
Umahi made the appeal yesterday at his country home in Umunaga Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state when the people of Onicha Local Government Area paid him a new year homage.
He noted that it would be unfair and unjust for the old Ohaozara bloc to have him and a Senator at the same time while Old Afikpo bloc in the zone would be left with nothing.
However, to further placate his bloc, the governor approved the reelection of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Obasi Odefa, and member representing Onicha West for the fourth and third terms respectively.
The Ohaozara political bloc comprises Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Local Government Areas while Old Afikpo bloc comprises Afikpo South and Afikpo North Local Government Areas in the southern senatorial zone of the state.
Umahi therefore appealed to all political gladiators from the old Ohaozara who have been angling for the position to shelve their ambitions and support his reelection as governor in 2019, noting that his people would benefit more in having him reelected as governor than producing a senator for the zone.
Though the senatorial position has been ceded to the people of Afikpo bloc who currently hold the seat, THISDAY gathered that the incumbent, Senator Sunny Ogborji, would be dropped due to his alleged romance and defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor added that he took the decision to allow for their reelection in realisation of the fact that all the affected politicians alongside himself came on the platform of ‘Divine Mandate’, stating that it would be unfair and against the spirit of peace to drop any of them in 2019.
He also stated that the decision would lessen their fights during the campaigns and the elections proper and also brighten their chances of victory.
Umahi assured the people that in 2023, he would bow out together with all the state and national assembly members who have served two terms and above and allow new people to take shots at the positions.
He said: “I have noticed that some people from Ohaozara are positioning for Senate in 2019. But let me remind us that Afikpo even though they have only two local government areas, is a zone of its own just like Ohaozara. Therefore, in true spirit of fairness and equity, it would be unfair for the zone to have both the governor and the senator at the same time.
“I am begging that let us lessen our fights by allowing things to take its proper courses. We have much more to gain in retaining the governor than producing a senator. What I have done in Ohaozara, no senator can do it. So am appealing to us and to those who are supporting me genuinely to queue behind my reelection and leave the Senate for Afikpo bloc.”