The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has declared that he has the right to decide his replacement as the senator representing Ebonyi South under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
DAILY POST recalls that Umahi left the Senate after President Bola Tinubu appointed him minister.
The election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja on September 8 ruled that Umahi was validly elected senator for Ebonyi South after dismissing petitions from the candidates of the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Umahi, during his visit to Gov. Francis Nwifuru as part of his tour of the state to inspect federal roads, declared that he has the right to determine his replacement on Saturday.
He said that he is a prominent stakeholder in APC, as only the governor ranks above him in the party in Ebonyi.
“We would ensure that the party zones the ticket to Ohaozara (his Local Government Area), and it will not leave there. We would discuss the issue with the governor and, through him, run through the court process wherever the opposition takes us,” he said.
The minister thanked the governor for supporting his moves to ensure that Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi (APC, Ebonyi Central) replaces him as the Senate Deputy Majority Leader.
“I asked if you could facilitate the process, and you did, and it is currently working. It is not every governor that would want his subject to grow, but I want to assure you of complete comfort.
“President Tinubu does not like division, and be assured that you are not struggling for the party’s leadership with anyone,” he said.
Umahi affirmed that his decision to decamp to APC from PDP has yielded fruits with the projection of the state into mainstream politics.
“That decision nearly took my life; my properties were burnt and I became the enemy of the entire Igbo, but the decision fetched all of us our present position. So support the governor to deepen the party in the state and the Southeast zone,” he said.
Umahi, who declared that President Tinubu was ordained by God to lead the country, stressed that he had maintained that stance since the electioneering period.
He urged the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and other Igbo stakeholders to support Tinubu, saying, “The President gave us a foremost ministerial position even when we didn’t vote well for him.”