One of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Friday, January 24, has endorsed the Imo State governor, Godwin Obaseki for a second term.
He said Obaseki, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be re-elected and nothing will stop him “because he has done well and deserves to continue in office.”
Umahi expressed his stance while addressing Obaseki’s wife, Betsy, and other Southern governors’ wives who were on a courtesy call to him in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
Governor Obaseki has been locked in a supremacy battle with his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, who is also the National Chairman of the APC.
The governor, who is completing his first term, has indicated interest to run for a second term, but there are fears he may be denied the party’s governorship ticket due to his tussle with Oshiomhole.
Neither the APC nor the PDP has held its governorship primaries to pick its candidate for the election that holds later this year.
However, the PDP candidate that challenged Obaseki in 2016, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, defected to the APC last year.
Umahi expressed his stance while addressing Mr Obaseki’s wife, Betsy, and other Southern governors’ wives who were on a courtesy call to him in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
The women were in the state for the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum quarterly meeting.
Umahi said: “Power belongs to God and no matter what anybody will do, it is God that has the final say and I can assure you Ma, you know as an apostle of the most high God, I also prophesize. And because of the good work your husband is doing for the people of Edo State, no man can unseat him.
“Even in our NEC meeting, when Obaseki speaks, you see Economics. You see a man that came from private sector background. And so, we can’t wish that away. So, congratulations to you in advance and to all of us.
“You know the governors; we have so many elections. First is the primary, second one is the poll, then the third one is the tribunal. Then another one is the appeal and then the election of the elections is the Supreme Court. Gov. Umahi with Mrs Betsy Obaseki
“So, it is not an easy thing and if the hand of God is not upon you, you can’t scale through all these hurdles. And so, it is God who has brought all of us to leadership and I say double congratulations to all of us.”
Commendation for Buhari
Umahi also said President Muhammadu Buhari has done a lot in the fight against corruption.
He said the recent Transparency International rating which ranked Nigeria as one of the worst in terms of graft “was not a true reflection of the situation in the country since Buhari came into office”.
Umahi, however, said there is need for a slight change of tactics in the fight against corruption in the country.
“The challenges we face are not peculiar to Nigeria alone. When the Transparency International rated Nigeria very low in fighting corruption, it is not because we are as corrupt as they said, it is because our handlers need to change in the tactics of fighting corruption and this is what the Transparency International is talking.
“Mr President has done quite a lot in real fight against corruption but we need to change tactics, we need to stop media trial, we need to do more of proactive kind of fighting corruption than reactive one.”
Umahi also said the President has been very good to all the Governors “not minding their political parties.”
“He is not partisan at all and that is why we continue to support him and any governor that castigates the president should have his head examined.”
He also described Mrs Buhari as a gift for Nigeria.
“Women are the stabilisers the government as they are part and parcel of God’s blessing to Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier, head of the forum and Edo First Lady, Betsy Obaseki, thanked the governor for the warm hospitality they had received since their arrival in the state.
She said the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, formed the group on assumption of office to bring about synergy among the wives of southern governors.
She said: “the wife of the president, when she came onboard and met the northern governors wives forum decided to etablish one for southern governors’ wives. The whole essence is for us to collaborate, to interact to bring new ideas to assist our husbands.”
The wives of 10 governors were in attendance at the meeting. They include those of Edo, Ebonyi, Abịa, Enugu, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Ọyo and Osun.