THE Chairman of South East Governors Forum (SEGF) and Ebonyi State governor, Engineer Dave Umahi has faulted the endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the 2019 presidential election.
Describing the endorsement as baseless, he said that the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, “made us ndigbo look like we hated President Muhammadu Buhari. It was a poorly managed approach to politics.”
He told an Interviewer Tuesday that: “The endorsement was not necessary. It did not make any impact in the election. Ohanaeze succeeded in making the Igbo people look like they are against the president, which shouldn’t be.”
The governor who felt let down by the action of the apex ndigbo socio-cultural organization, said the endorsement eventually counted for nothing because it was an unpopular decision.
Umahi blamed the leaders of the organization for leaving their roles as cultural leaders to act like political leaders and ignored the fact that “there are leaders of Igboland in PDP and in APC. We would not have allowed them if they had told us about the endorsement.
“We cannot play their role and they cannot play our role. When they were going for such a meeting they did not tell us. They behaved as if they were on their own and that is not good for a people.”
According to him, Ohanaeze, led by Chief Nnia Nwodo, by their action portrayed Ndigbo in bad light. “They are our cultural leaders and we are the political leaders. We cannot play their role and they cannot play our role.
“I had objected to the meeting since the president was coming to South East and would be commissioning the Azikiwe Mausoleum. It was not good that meeting of Imeobi will be going on where the governors are involved and some of leaders of the APC and your meeting will be like shutting them out.
Umahi revealed that he supported the idea that “Ndigbo should give President Buhari the 25% votes. I said so not because Buhari was going to win in the South East; but because we want to eliminate that illusion that the Igbo doesn’t love Buhari.