By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
THE Ebonyi State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Monday, stressed that the type of personality that the country needs to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari was a young, vibrant and experienced leader, like Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.
The Party, which argued that since Umahi was entrusted with the leadership of Ebonyi State and had performed creditably well, added that “it will be imperative that we join forces with other well-meaning Nigerians and advocate that Governor Umahi should be prepared to lead us in Nigeria for he has been tested and trusted.”
According to a statement entitled: “Governor Umahi, 2023 Igbo Presidency and the question of whom the cap fits”, Ogbuatu Chidi Simbad, State Publicity Secretary, APC, pointed out that “the ruling party today in Nigeria, we believe in justice, fairness and equity, we the members of the All Progressives Congress APC, are very optimistic that APC has a credible presidential candidate in Governor Umahi.”
“True to his type, a born detribalized leader, Governor Umahi was spotted by President Buhari on various occasions and has seen the genius in him. This, in addition to his leadership prowess, offered him the opportunity of a closer relationship with the president who believes in him and has embarked on many international diplomatic and official trips with him. Such rare opportunities have exposed governor Umahi to the demands and tenets of national leadership the more. “
The statement read in part: “This clamour for a better Nigeria, for modern and focused leadership is giving room for a comprehensive and thorough search for purposeful leaders. In the midst of such a thorough search, Gov David Umahi readily comes to mind.
“Coming to power in 2015, Governor Umahi came prepared having served in various other capacities such as Ebonyi state party Chairman of the PDP and Deputy Governor. From the day he was sworn in as Governor, His Excellency Governor David Umahi has not rested in tinkering how to better Ebonyi state primarily and the nation at large.
“In a matter of days from the assumption of office, he changed the face of Abakaliki city in terms of infrastructure. Umahi vigorously tackled the hitherto challenges of access road networks beginning from the city centre and extending to the rural areas in all the local governments in the state. The magic is not just that the roads culminated in over two thousand (2000) kilometres within the shortest possible time but that he brought unprecedented innovation to it by constructing the roads on rigid pavements- a technology that would guarantee a 50-year lifespan on the projects.
“The roads were not going on alone; they were running concurrently with overhead bridges of massive magnitudes and dimensions. As of now, Gov Umahi has completed about 9 flyover bridges of a total of over 150 spans with about 3 ongoings and one at the take-off stage.
“The attention given to the roads were not limited just to the state roads but also to the federal roads as the Abakaliki- Enugu expressway, Abakaliki- Afikpo- Amasiri- Okigwe road, Abaomege- Calabar roads are all being simultaneously dualized by Governor Umahi. In this respect, President Muhamadu Buhari who commissioned two of the flyovers when he visited Ebonyi State on 14th November 2017 and had one of the glass tunnels named after him expressed his love for what Governor Umahi is doing and encouraged him.
“Gone at a very advanced stage is the process for obtaining of loan from the Islamic bank and African Development bank for the construction of Ebonyi ring roads which when achieved would connect all the local government areas in the state. To say the least, governor Umahi is just a roadmaster.
“The ingenuity of the governor is not only limited to engineering; he is also an expert in commerce and industry. The construction of the Abakaliki mall designed to replicate the popular world-class Dubai Mall, the International market renovated with such aesthetic looks as those found in the western world, the reduction in taxes for small and medium scale businesses and the relocation of traders to the more comfortable and spacious international market are all pointers to Umahi’s giant strides in commerce and industry.
“Being fondly called a Professor of infrastructure, Gov Umahi has embarked on the construction of an international cargo airport as well as an Olympic stadium in Ebonyi State which is over 40% completed.
“These when completed and put to use will not only grossly boost the economic base of the state but will also attract global, nay national attention to Ebonyi State. The quality, style and grandeur of the new Government House and Governor’s lodge constructed and put to use by Governor Umahi is second to none in Nigeria.
“In the area of human capital development and empowerment, Governor Umahi has no rival in the country. Unarguably, with over 1500 appointees, he has the highest number of political appointees in government in the history of this present political dispensation.
“Such, in addition to learning the art and skills of leadership and governance is also a way of economic empowerment. He has equally distributed over 200 units of Sienna busses and over 400 units of Keke tricycles to youths across the state. This is aside from the numerous widows, aged and downtrodden in the state monthly payroll.”