Outgoing governor of Enugu State, David Umahi, has said that it was out of respect for his Party and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, that he steered off the race for the President of the Senate.
Dave Umahi, a first time senator said these factors and the overriding interest of Southeastern Nigeria to play at the centre informed his decision to abandon the race for the Senate President in the 10th Assembly.
According to him, he has always wanted the southeast to be at the center and that has determined his brand of politics to keep the region at the centre of discussion assuring other regions that Nigeria is better as a united entity than a divided nation.
Umahi who featured in the morning show of Channels TV said “The President-elect called me and said look, ‘I am committed to the zoning to South south,’ and I say siir, I will not disobey you, and I have never disobeyed any sitting President, even when I was in PDP, I was always defending president, not because he was doing everything right. But the ones he was doing wrong, is for me to advise him, sitting like this. Not to bring it to the public.
“I am the chairman of the Akpabio Barau campaign. I do not need to be Senate President to be able to bring my people to the centre. By obeying the leadership of the party, by obeying the President-elect, I am already endearing the people of the Southeast to the heart of the leaders.
“I said, look, the southeast are team players. As the chairman of Southeast governors forum, I am one of the faces of the south eastern people, therefore, I need to pave the way for my people. I need to be appealing before the other regions of the country. Look , we can work together, look, we deserve the unity of the country, and that is the reason I said, I will not disobey the party and its leaders.
“Throughout the President-elect swearing in to become president, I will not disobey him and I will not encourage my people to disobey him.”
Umahi who explained that these were factors that informed “my reasons why I backed out,” maintained that “My interest in politics is to integrate my people to be at the center.
“Doing that is not by sentiment. It is not by allowing people to be more catholic than Pope, you have to genuinely set out to do that.
“It has to be in obedience to your party, leaders and telling your people the truth. They maybe going the wrong way to get to the right way. You have to be courageous and bold to tell them the truth.
Umahi noted that the Outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari engendered disaffection among people and it fuelled the IPOb movement.
In iis words: “The truth is, that the Buhari administration, people felt agitated. There was so much agitation in the IPOB wanting to be a Biafran meeting.
“A lot of our people know that we are stronger when we are together. They were not feeling the same as the promoters of that theory. And a lot of people did not speak out because of fear of being killed.
“The agitation snowballed to sit-at-home, killing and a lot of things.”
“So I decided not to run, the moment my party zoned the Senate presidency to the south South and zoned it to Akpabio. Akpabio is my brother and always my friend. I have every reason to support him.”