Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has said it is a shame that leaders and delegates from the South East sold their votes to candidates from other zones in the just-concluded presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking on Saturday at his hometown, Uburu, during the maiden matriculation ceremony of the King David University of Medical Sciences, Umahi said such betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow especially at this moment when the Igbos have been speaking out about being marginalized.
“I had a series of meetings with the party’s chairmen in the five states of the zone in the company of its national vice-chairman. I implored the delegates that the issue was not about me, but the mood of the Igbo in the nation.
“I told them that they should vote for any candidate of South East, so that when our votes are counted behind all the contestants of southeast, we should not have anything less than the number of our delegates.
“By so doing, we would have made a statement; but it became a shame that our leaders and the delegates sold all our votes.
“It is a very big shame,” Umahi lamented.
The governor said he wept bitterly following the outcome of the party primary election, adding that it is painful for Igbos to be shouting about marginalization, and whenever they have an opportunity to make a statement they sell their votes.
“I continue to let them know that he that sells his brother or sister, even the buyers will not trust him.
“We would have made a strong statement in the process that the Igbo are eminently qualified with due capacity to lead the country,” Governor Umahi stressed.
Umahi contested and polled 38 votes in the APC Presidential primary which saw Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Lagos governor, declared winner, after securing 1,271 votes.
The Ebonyi State governor while taking another look at the development, was of the opinion that Nigeria is skewed against the Igbos.
“Whereas other geopolitical zones have 6 and 7 states, the Igbo man has five states and we should be asking why?
“Whereas other states have 30 to 40 Local Government Areas, our own states have just 13 local governments.
“Is there any fairness and justice in this regard?” the governor asked rhetorically.
Umahi’s lament on Saturday bears a semblance to that of Former Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu who said there is no justice in having the All Progressives Congress (APC) fail to zone the 2023 presidency to the South East.
Onu stated this on Tuesday at the Eagles Square, while pitching his agenda to party delegates just before the commencement of voting at the presidential primary.
“What is very very important, exceptionally important, is that we must ensure that justice is upheld,” he said in his address.
“Naturally, it should be somebody from the South East that will replace (Buhari), and that will give the opposite South versus North and Christian versus Muslim a balance, and it will bring stability to the nation; it will strengthen Nigeria.
“The South West had eight years as president, eight years as vice president; the South South had eight years as president and vice president; where is the justice? Where is the justice?” Dr Onu asked in anguish.