Umahi kicked over moves to impose governorship candidate on APC
*urged to allow Ebonyians determine who becomes their governor
By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi has been faulted for his recent endorsement of the embattled speaker of the State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru’s as the next Governor come 2023.
A governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Elias Mbam, condemned Umahi’s move and warned that the imposition of Francis Nwifuru will mar the party’s chances of electoral victory in the state in the forthcoming general elections.
Mbam while speaking at a news conference in Abakaliki on Sunday, noted that Gov. Umahi’s endorsement of Nwifuru as his successor and APC candidate for the 2023 governorship election in Ebonyi said his actions will cause implosion in the party.
The Voice had reported that Umahi, Friday, announced Nwifuru’s endorsement as APC’s gubernatorial candidate, at the burial of late Chief Dandy Igweomoke, father of Mrs Chioma Nweze, Commissioner for Trade and Investment.
Reacting to this statement, Mbam the chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Mbam noted that the Electoral Act, APC’s Constitution, and indeed other extant documents on elections in Nigeria did not make provisions for the imposition of aspirants on any political party.
According to him, the unilateral decision did not receive the approval of critical stakeholders of the party, and therefore will not be accepted.
“I heard the statement like every other person; I wasn’t at the venue where the statement was made, and I haven’t been communicated on that.
“But, I’m concerned and worried as a critical stakeholder of our party because if the statement is correct, it means he has closed the political space against potential aspirants.
“Though forms have not yet been sold, I do not think it is good for our party.
“INEC and the party have emphasised that there should be no imposition of candidates.
“If in the disguise of anointing or endorsement, a candidate is imposed on the party, it will not be in the interest of the party.
“And it will close the space against other aspirants, and we will run the risk of losing the 2023 election,” Mbam said.
The Governorship hopeful urged the governor, as the leader of APC in Ebonyi to allow a level playing field for all the aspirants in the race for the party’s governorship ticket.
“I know the governor is the leader of the party in the state; and so, all of us who are members of the party in the state are his children.
” I expect, as the father of the party, he will give every child equal opportunity, and allow the people to determine who becomes their governor,” he added.
The aspirant, however, assured that the alleged endorsement and adoption of the speaker would not deter him from pursuing his dream to become the next governor of the state.
“The endorsement will not stop my aspiration, I’m still in the race, I’m consulting with stakeholders across the state.
“By education, work experience, and social contacts with people across the country, I am very qualified to lead our state.
“I have always indicated my interest to serve my state, and I’m well prepared for this service.
“I don’t think that, among those who have indicated interest, there is anyone who knows the state more than I do,” Mbam said.