By Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
A former secretary to the government of the federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim,Â on TuesdayÂ endorsed Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State for a second term.
Anyim pronounced the endorsement at Isiaka, the headquarters of Ivo Local Government Area, Anyim’s country home, during a rally organised in honour of Umahi.
The endorsement has laid to rest the rumours making the rounds that the duo had fallen apart which could threaten Umahi’s chances of reelection in 2019.
THISDAY gathered that at a point, it was rumoured that Anyim had concluded plans with the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to snatch the governorship ticket from Umahi while in some quarters, it was said that the former Senate President would sponsor another candidate from the opposition party for a total showdown with the governor.
Anyim insisted that Umahi has done well and his second tenure was already guaranteed, noting that the other two zones from the state have taken their turn of eight years each which meant that Ebonyi south would complete their remaining four years.
The former SGF said: “I want to sayÂ that when you go to other places, they will receiveÂ you with a rally but when you come to your home, Ivo, they will onlyÂ celebrate you. I want to say and say very clearly that the event ofÂ today is not necessarily preparatory to 2019, because, for us, your 2019Â is guaranteed.
â€œYour Excellency, you know how we do it. When we lead, others will follow. So, we want to assure you today that forÂ 2019, Ivo will lead and we are sure others will follow. So, for us, that is really not an issue.
â€œToday, we are pleased to have you at home to celebrate you, to celebrate your achievements and celebrate your government. Your becoming governor of Ebonyi State is remarkable in many areas. The most important is that you are the first Ebonyi State governor to come from Afikpo zone.
“So, certainly you are our own and I want to say that I have always said that the people who have governed before you, they governed for eight years. Ebonyi North governed for eight years, Ebonyi central eight years, Ebonyi south where you come from will govern for eight years.
â€œWe have something to show for your four years and because we have something to show for your four years, we can proudly say that your next four years is a matter of life.”
Umahi said that Anyim’s presence at the event has shamed the peddlers of the falsehood.
He said when his lieutenants began to panic over the rumour, he told them that there was no truth in it, adding that even if Anyim was asked to be the governor of Rivers or Lagos State for instance, he would still reject the offer.
According to the governor, “There is a secret I never told you sir. Our enemies got so frustrated that they thought they will distracts us. They started by first saying that there was accord between me and Senator Pius Anyim, that I will do
four years and I will move out and he will do the remaining four years.
“When people got panicking and they came to ask me, I said even if you
ask Senator Anyim to go and be the governor of Rivers or Lagos State,
he will tell you to go to hell.
“They came again and said one of the pillars of PDP in this nation has been suspended, I said suspended by who? Who will suspend he that suspends? Senator Anyim is live here, Senator Anyim is a complete father, senator is busy with his unique farm, Senator Anyim is resting.”
He also debunked the rumour of his suspension from PDP.