Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi, has disassociated himself from the 2023 presidential campaign team which was inaugurated in Abakaliki, the state capital.
The state’s chapter of a group championing for 2023 Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction known as South East for President 2023 was inaugurated at the Women’s Development Centre (WDC), Abakaliki.
There were insinuations in the state capital that the group was angling to adopt Umahi as its choice for 2023 presidency. Also, some social media platforms were reportedly circulating campaigns in favour of the governor.
But the governor, through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, dissociated himself and his government from the political gathering and social media campaigns saying that he had no hand in the group’s activities and described the gathering as a distraction.
He also said that he was greatly embarrassed by the link to presidential ambition in 2023 being circulated in various social media platforms and stated clearly that he would not be distracted by the various endorsements by groups and individuals.
Umahi, who said that he was more committed to delivering quality and purposeful leadership to the people of the state, said that the promoters of his purported 2023 presidential ambition did not have his support and therefore should not link him to any election that is four years ahead.
The statement partly 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 president of Igbo extraction.
The “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 Nigerian reserves the right to go about their business as long as it doesn’t not impinge on laid-down rules of the country.
The governor, however, dismissed the insinuation of his presidential ambition, saying that “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 serving my people as governor and delivering 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’s ridiculous.
“Let me say again, as a Nigerian and Igbo man and in my capacity as the Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, I am not against the idea or agitation for Nigeria president of Igbo extraction but linking me to it at this time is mostly embarrassing, distracting, and premature and I beg to be left out of it,” the statement concluded.