2023:  How Umahi Plotted His way To Pick Eboyi South, APC Senatorial Ticket 

 By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 When Dave Umahi, described as an’’ Engineer of repute’’ by President Muhammadu Buhari and governor of  the south east state of Eboyi, and 22 others that had  paid the N100 million  each to collect   the  All Progressive Congress, APC,  Presidential  Nomination Forms,  and which number was later narrowed down to 13 by the screening Committee, to contest the 2023, general elections, he knew he has to make plan B.

president Buhari: Described Umahi As Engineer Of Repute

This is because as a joiner of the ruling APC, there is no guarantee that he will the APC Presidential ticket with the likes of Asiwaju  Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and Yemi Osinbajo, Nigerian Vice Prsident and Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation , who has been Turbanned the Dana Amanar Daura, meaning the adopted son of  Daura, BUhari home town, were still in the  Presidential race.

 This many have informed he had  sponsored Austin  Umahi, the younger brother on one condition that  he will withdrew from the race for him if he fails to clinch the APC , Presidential ticket for the 2023, general elections.  It was therefore not very surprising that when the senior Umahi lost the APC APC Presidential ticket, alongside 12, he resoted to plan B, to claim the Eboyi south Senatorial Ticket from the younger Umahi.

Agom-Eze, a female Candidate in  the Eboyi south senatorial contest  who had come a distant second during the Eboyi south Senatorial district primary may have cashed on the deal between the two brothers to approach the Court  to be declared as the qualified  Candidate  for the Eboyi south Senatorial district   in the 2023, general election.

The Eboyi state governor , described by many as very rich  and who was not ready to accept defeat  was said to have  approached a Federal High Court  in Abakaliki, the state capital,  to seek  an order  to publish  his name  as the authentic Senatorial Candidate  for Eboyi south   Senatorial district. Agom-Eze, who had come second in the first primary was said to have been included in the Law suit.

The Court may have dampened Governor Umahi’s hope of  contesting the 2023, general election when it delivered its landmark judgment citing  section 115  of the Electoral Act, which’’ forbids  a person  from standing two different primary  elections  in  the same year’’. The trial Judge had declared that if found claiming  ‘’to have  participated  in two  primary elections  risks a ‘’two year jail term’’.

More frustrating for the senior Umahi was the declaration by the Judge that the authentic Senatorial Candidate  for the Eboyi south zone was  Mrs. Agom-Eze since the younger Umahi, had  withdrawn from the race.

This may have informed   why the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under the close watch of Mahmood Yakubu, a Professor, had omitted Umahi, the Eboyi state governor from their published list of Candidates for the 203 general election. The court was aid to have voided the election and  ordered a fresh one to  elected another Eboyi south  Senatorial Candidate.

This may have encouraged the Afikpo  North Local government  Headquarters of the ruling APC , in the state, at the instance of the  Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa state to hold  a  fresh  Eboyi south Senatorial  primary   on Saturday,  July 30, 2022, as ordered by the Court    to  fill the vacuum created following the Court disqualification  of  Eng.Umahi from being adopted as the Eboyi south APC  Senatorial  Candidate for the 2023  election.

The Eboyi state governor who was said to have done his  homework using the same field soldiers he  had used in his reelection bid in 2019, had contested the fresh  election alongside the younger Umahi, Mrs .Ann Agom Eze, Mrs. Ibiam Margret Ezenwaanyi and Mrs Chiko Elizabeth Nwakaego, as earlier announced by  Emmanuel  Adebayo Kehinde, a Professor and Returning officer.

 The election which was said to have been amidst tight security and witnessed by prominent APC Chieftains both from the state and Federal level including the state Executive Council members was said to have been closely monitored   by INEC officials.  To ensure that the right was done.

The Afikpo  North Local government  Headquarters of the ruling APC , in the state  on Saturday,  July 30, 2022, had organised the Eboyi south Senatorial election   to  fill the vacuum, following the Court disqualification  of Umahi as  the Eboyi south Senatorial candidate on the ticket of the APC.

Note that  this is the third time  the Eboyi south Senatorial district  primary  was being held in the state  following an  order of the Fedeal High Court  in Abakaliki, the state capital  which had voided  the second election  and ordered a fresh one.

Although, Mrs. Agom Eze. Eze,  who was said to have  come  a distant second in the first eboyi south Senatorial  election conducted  name had appeared on the list of the Eboyi south Senatorial contestants, she  may have  read the handwriting on the wall and found that  she does not stand any chance of winning the ticket as the younger Umahi and the Governor, who is  his elder brother were said to be  closely together  to ensure that the APC  Senatorial  Ticket remain within the family.

This may have informed  why  she had boycotted the fresh primary in the Eboyi south Senatorial  district election conducted last Saturday  in which  the senior Umahi, had won with a Landslide victory. Given reason for her action, she had said   ‘’there was an appeal for stay of execution on the matter’’.

She is optimistic that the Court will nullify the APC Senatorial south district primary.  ‘’I am looking forward to the judgment of the Court of Appeal as a Law-abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I am confident the Court will do justice’’, she had said.

The Eboyi state governor who do not see the Court nullifying the party fresh Senatorial primary in the state had commended the APC Electoral Panel for ‘’the peaceful and transparent conduct of the primary’’. He has given his words to win the  Eboyi south Senatorial district election for the APC, in 2023, with little or no effors to beat contestants from the other 18 political parties, registered by INEC, who may have fielded Candidates  for the 2023, Presidential and  National Assembly election.  

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