Umahi Gives Reasons for Criticising Obi’s Nomination as Atiku’s Running Mate

Raheem Akingbolu with agency reports

As stakeholders in Igbo nation continue to review the motive behind the protest championed by the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, shortly after a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, was announced as the running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Governor Umahi has cleared the air, saying he was not against the choice of Obi but only frowned at the process, leading to his (Obi) selection.

Umahi stated this in an interview with journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital.

The governor faced a backlash when he led leaders of the party to complain against the selection process that threw up Mr Obi as vice presidential candidate of the party. Many accused him of sabotaging the interest of the Igbo nation.

But, Mr Umahi while clearing the air, said he was only against the process and not the competence of Mr Obi.

He questioned ”how people from other regions will meet and take decisions that concern the South-east without the input of a single person from the region.

“We have never said that we are against Peter Obi; but what we have said is that, if six people can come together from five other regions and look at recommendations for the South-east and no South-east person is there, that is not good for us.

“We have never said that Obi is not good for us, we have nothing against Obi. But we want when decisions that concern us are being taken, we want to be part of that decision,” Mr Umahi said.

The governor also expressed displeasure at the ‘imbalance’ in the initial five-member shortlist of persons being considered for the VP slot which he said ”had no person from Imo and Ebonyi States on it.”

“Number two, the five names submitted, of course, no governors in South-east wants to be vice president; everybody wants to finish his tenure. The five names for VP should have been five names from the five South-east states; but there was no name from Ebonyi and Imo states.

“I am a fighter of marginalisation of Ebonyi people. If we are going to vote, we must be treated with equity. These are the issues; two names came from Anambra, one from Enugu and two from Abia. So, what is wrong in having someone from Ebonyi and then one from Imo?”

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