Kelechi Igwe, deputy governor of Ebonyi, says Dave Umahi, his principal, must run for president in the 2023 general election.
According to NAN, he stated this on Tuesday, when he led members of the state executive council on a visit to Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, in his hometown at Uburu, Ohaozara local government area (LGA).
Umahi defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in November, citing “injustice”.
Although there had been speculations that Umahi defected over plans to contest the presidency if the ticket is zoned to the south-east, the Ebonyi governor denied that his decision was based on the 2023 presidential election.
“Why am I moving to APC? Some people said I was promised this and that but I tell you, there is no such discussion. APC never promised me any position, they never promised south-east any position. There was no such discussion. However, I offered this movement as a protest to the injustice being done to south-east by the PDP since 1998 till date,” Umahi had said.
His defection was trailed by disquiet within the PDP as the state caucus of the national assembly distanced itself from the action.
Igwe, who thanked the governor for his support and encouragement, said the council members will maintain their loyalty to his administration.
“This particular visit is unique because it is the first time since our participation in government that we are determining as a people to change the political gear,” NAN quoted Igwe as saying.
“When you announced that it was time to move on, a lot of us were foot-dragging, wanting to make consultations but at the end, decided to move with you. I must confess that some of us didn’t like the APC but decided to join it because of you. So, we are declaring that you must contest the 2023 presidential election.”
In his remarks, the governor tasked the council to remain steadfast in their support for the All Progressive Congress (APC), adding that the party provides a platform for the Igbo people to evaluate themselves properly.
“When you are here and there, they will not take you seriously. People feel they can wake up and stab others at the back, forgetting that things do not work that way and people have different destinies,” he said.
“Count all those who betrayed us since 2015 and you will discover that they have never found their feet. People want to attempt what others have done and succeeded but God has brought all of us to decide their fate.”