Umahi distances self as Ndigbo renews 2023 presidency bid

The Ndigbo yesterday declared that the country’s presidency in 2023 belongs to them, vowing not to wait in the trenches any longer while other sections of the country enjoy power at the centre.

The zone declared that they would remain in Nigeria, adding that until other sections of the country recognise the individual rights of the major components that make up the country, the economic, political, religious and other social quagmire being experienced would continue.

At a well-attended event in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, to inaugurate the state chapter of the South-East for Presidency 2023 Movement, the Igbo vowed to work together to ensure the realisation of the project.

Meanwhile, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has refuted reports linking the inauguration of the group with his rumoured presidential ambition in 2023, stating that he has no relationship with the group.

Umahi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, dissociated himself and his government from any form of political gathering with intent to promote his presidential ambition in 2023.

He said he was more committed to delivering quality and purposeful leadership to the people of Ebonyi State.

He further stated that promoters of his purported 2023 presidential ambition did not have his support and therefore should not link him with any election.

The statement read: “The governor was greatly embarrassed by the link to presidential ambition of 2023 being circulated in various social media platforms and wishes to state that he will not be distracted by the various endorsements by groups and individuals who clamour for Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.

“Governor does not know the promoters of the platform and could not have contracted them to do the job but believes that any genuine and law-abiding Nigerians reserve the right to go about their businesses as long as they do not impinge on laid down rules of the country.

“2023 is still very far ahead of us. I am the Governor of Ebonyi State and a second term governor for that matter by the grace of God, I put all my energy and concentration to serve my people as governor and deliver on my campaign promises. I am not looking at where I will be tomorrow. Allow God to determine my next political fate but don’t distract me with presidential ambition of 2023 now in 2019, it is a distraction and ridiculous.”

However, while former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, in a speech laden with emotions charged the Igbo to speak with one voice and rediscover their pride of place in Nigeria, National Co-ordinator of the Movement, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, said that the fight against corruption was incomplete when presidency was not allowed to rotate to the various segments that make up the country.

Obioha, however, challenged the people of the zone to look at their lost value system, which placed the people on top before the civil war.

Also, Ebonyi State Chairman of the Movement, Kennedy Ogba, said that Nigeria was bedeviled with injustices, with the people of the South-East suppressed by past leaders.