The outgoing Ebonyi State governor said the Southeast deserves the office.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state has joined the list of those seeking President Muhammadu Buhari’s blessings in their bid to become the President of the 10th National Assembly Senate.
Speaking with newsmen at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday after meeting with the President, Senator-elect Umahi stressed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would be taking the right step to allow justice, equity and fairness to guide its judgment when zoning leadership offices for the 10th Senate.
The governor, representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the 10th Senate, argued that the Southeast made considerable contributions to the victory of President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, advising the party against gauging its choices of candidate by vote contributions alone.
According to him, the emerging candidate must be one who gives the APC a fighting chance in the June election.
He also said allowing the Southeast to produce the next Senate leader would inspire buy-in from the opposition in the National Assembly.
He said: ”I think that every region clamouring for the presidency of the Senate to be zoned to it is the right of such people. If you look at the true reflection of our society, you will agree with me that the right thing to be done by our leaders without prejudice to their rights and thinking is that the South-East deserves the number three position.
“This is very important and I have always said that you can deliver somebody by the reason of the majority votes of particular regions but you also need the cooperation of the minority people to have a holistic nation to govern.
“So, for inclusiveness, unity of the country and for everybody to be carried along, the Southeast deserves the position and so far, nobody has been able to say this is the reason why the South-East should not be given that position and I am pleading for that,” he said.
Umahi stated that the zone worked so hard for the APC even before the Presidential pollthus, the strides it made in winning other elective positions.
According to him: “I know what effort we made as a people for the unity of the country. I know the way we were regarded and we understand that we are stronger while we are together and we made vows to our people while we were campaigning for APC, we assured them that we belong to an equitable and fair Nigeria.
“Now it has come to a point where that position we took should be put to practice and that is what we are begging for because the chain is as strong as the weakest link and it is time for healing, inclusiveness as well as the time to move this country forward”.
The senator-elect also dismissed claims in some quarters that he was not experienced enough as a lawmaker, pointing out that he had garnered enough experience in the public sector as a two-term governor and from the private sector as a businessman, to lead the 10th senate.
Said he: “If you check my pedigree, you’ll find out that I am a man who has handled his businesses from scratch to multi-billions. I was dealing with people. I was not dealing with sticks. That is experience.
“I was a party chairman twice up to five years. I have managed a state successfully for almost eight years. I have all the experience, humility, honesty and integrity,” he stated.
Commenting on his visit to the State House, Umahi said he came to update the President that the Muhammadu Buhari International Airport in Ebonyi State is ready for operation.
The Ebonyi Governor also clarified that “oulur Airport is not a Cargo airport. It is an international airport that handles domestic and international flights, as well as cargo. It is named after President Muhammadu Buhari.
“So I came to inform him that the airport was ready. We’ve carried out test flights. And it’s ready for him to come and commission”.