The Minister of Works, Chief David Umahi, is making headlines once again as he declares his right to determine his replacement in the Senate for Ebonyi South District under the All Progressives Congress (APC). Umahi’s bold statement comes on the heels of a significant legal victory and is a testament to his influence within the party.
Umahi left his Senate position after being appointed as the Minister of Works by President Bola Tinubu. However, the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, in a ruling on September 8, confirmed Umahi as the validly elected senator for the district, dismissing petitions from both the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates.
During his visit to Governor Francis Nwifuru as part of his statewide tour to inspect federal roads, Umahi asserted his right to shape the future of the party in Ebonyi. He emphasized his prominent stakeholder status within the APC, second only to the governor in the state’s party hierarchy.
Umahi revealed his intention to ensure that the APC’s senatorial ticket remains in Ohaozara, his Local Government Area, and pledged to work closely with the governor to navigate any legal challenges that may arise. He expressed gratitude to the governor for supporting the candidacy of Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi to replace him as the Senate deputy majority leader.
In a gesture of party unity, Umahi commended Governor Nwifuru, stating, “President Tinubu does not like division, and be assured that you are not struggling for the party’s leadership with anyone.” He further highlighted the positive impact of his decision to switch from the PDP to the APC, emphasizing its role in elevating the state’s position in mainstream politics.
Reflecting on his political journey, Umahi acknowledged the challenges he faced upon leaving the PDP but urged support for President Tinubu’s leadership. “The president gave us the foremost ministerial position even when we didn’t vote well for him,” he said. He also called upon other Igbo stakeholders, including Labour Party Presidential Candidate Mr. Peter Obi, to rally behind President Tinubu.
Umahi’s firm stance on his right to influence the choice of his Senate replacement underscores the evolving political landscape in Ebonyi South District, as well as his determination to consolidate APC’s presence in the region.