Hours after informing President Muhammadu Buhari of his motive to contest in the 2023 elections, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State said he was acting on God's directive.
Umahi stated this when he appeared on “Politics Today” a programme on Channels Television.
The governor claimed God had spoken to him in the place of prayer to declare his intention when he did. He, however, said God did not tell him if he would win the presidential election or not.
He said, “God spoke to me – so it is progressive. So, I spoke when he asked me to speak. Based on what God is doing for us in our state, the economic indices—by God’s grace what we have achieved, lots of people believe that the same feat we can achieve at the federal level if given the opportunity.
“You talk to God, God talks to you, that is prayer and you listen to God, and I think I am at peace with this decision. It is not about God telling you that you will win or not, it is about God’s programme. I think that the programme of God will be made manifest.”
When asked about his chances against other heavyweights in the APC considering that he recently defected to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party, Umahi said, “Power belongs to God. God gives power to whomever he wishes. God brought a man from prison and made him president.”
Speaking further during the interview, Umahi said the Igbo presidency will not be an issue of force but dialogue just as he frowned at the idea of a consensus candidate from the Southeast.
According to him “It is not the Igbos that will decide who will rule this country, it is Nigerians that will decide. When people say Igbos should come together, that is even a minus. The project in view is Nigeria, whether it is 20 people from the South-east, should not undermine the chances of getting someone from Nigeria. Coming together is like a conspiracy.”
He added that “We (Igbo) have been in PDP as a region, casting all our votes and of course putting all our eggs inside one basket. The Southeast under PDP should be given the opportunity to fly the ticket for the presidency. I did not by any means see that the gladiators, the owners of PDP were ready to give the Igbo a chance.
“There is a lot of sentiment among our people. It is to be by dialogue not by force. I believe strongly that South-east people are builders, they have invested in other regions of this country.
“It depends on who becomes the president, we must see the past antecedent of the person. We must see how inclusive the person is – is he somebody that is divisive in his attitude? If we get the best from the Southeast that will be a plus for us.”
When asked about the President's response to his declaration, Umahi said the president asked him to consult widely.
He stressed that “Mr President believes in giving everyone opportunity to run. He told me people must consult widely. “