Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Gov Umahi Lobbies Buhari on Senate Presidency, Says South-East Deserves Position

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The outgoing governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, on Tuesday, restated his position that Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, should zone the senate presidency to the south-east region.

Mr Umahi, a member of the APC, stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari to apparently seek the president’s support for his ambition to be the next senate president.

“I think that every region clamouring for the presidency of the Senate to be zoned to it is the right of such people,” he said. “If you look at the true reflection of our society, you will agree with me that the right thing to be done by our leaders without prejudice to their rights and thinking is that the South-east deserves the number three position.”

The governor, who was recently elected to the Senate, acknowledged that the South-east did not give President-elect Bola Tinubu the majority of votes from the region but said the new administration needs “the cooperation of the minority people to have a holistic nation to govern.”

“This is very important and I have always said that you can deliver somebody by the reason of the majority votes of particular regions but you also need the cooperation of the minority people to have a holistic nation to govern.”

“So, for inclusiveness, unity of the country and for everybody to be carried along, the South-east deserves the position and so far, nobody has been able to say this is the reason why the South-East should not be given that position and I am pleading for that.”

Mr Umahi said leaders of the ruling party, APC, in the South-east worked hard for the party even before the presidential election; thus, the strides it made in winning other elective positions.

“I know what effort we made as a people for the unity of the country. I know the way we were regarded and we understand that we are stronger while we are together and we made vows to our people while we were campaigning for APC, we assured them that we belong to an equitable and fair Nigeria.

“Now it has come to a point where that position we took should be put to practice and that is what we are begging for because the chain is as strong as the weakest link and it is time for healing, inclusiveness as well as the time to move this country forward,” he said.

The South-east used to be a major bastion of the opposition PDP until some of its governors including Mr Umahi defected to the APC.

However, the presidential candidate of the APC, Mr Tinubu, scored less than 10 per cent of the votes in the region with Peter Obi of the Labour Party scoring about 90 per cent of the votes in some of the five states in the region.

However, the APC won some Senate and Reps seats in the South-east including the seats won by Mr Umahi and ex-Abia governor Orji Kalu, both of whom want to be senate president.

The APC is expected to zone the positions of the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives to different regions but has yet to do so. Apart from Messrs Umahi and Kalu, other senators-elect from different parts of the country have also shown interest in becoming the senate president.

The APC won the majority of seats in the 109-seat Senate but could not win the majority in the 360-member House of Representatives.

The new lawmakers will be inaugurated next month when they will elect their leaders.

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