The Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF), a leading pan-Igbo organization at the forefront of the campaign for the Nigerian President of South-East extraction, has called on the governor of Ebonyi governor, Engr. Dave Umahi, to RESIGN AS CHAIRMAN SOUTH-EAST GOVERNORS FORUM for what the group termed serious anti-Igbo stances and activities of the Ebonyi state governor.
The grouse the ILDF has with Gov. Dave Umahi is hinged on three main issues: his dismal performance as Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, the palpable insecurity in the South-East deriving from the governor’s inability to produce cohesive leadership, his recent remark that the Ebonyi people will not vote for Labour Party/Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour party, and Umahi’s public declaration that Ebonyi People will not be part of the Igbo Agenda.
In a statement signed by its Executives and released in Abuja, the organization wondered why Dave Umahi is committed to working against the Igbo collective, advancement and survival, whereas he is supposed to be the de facto political head of the zone, in his capacity as the chairman of the South-East Governors Forum. They recounted the ordeals Ndigbo have passed through in his hands and under his watch, owing to his actions and inactions, and condemned his actions in strong terms, advising the governor to retrace his steps and regain perspective, reminding him that his position as governor or chairman of South-East Governors Forum is not permanent and that in less than one year, he would be back on the streets with rest as an ordinary Nigerian to suffer the effects of his poor leadership and misgovernance.
Here is the full text of the press statement…
IGBO LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ILDF) CALLS ON GOV. DAVE UMAHI TO RESIGN AS CHAIRMAN OF SOUTH-EAST GOVERNORS FORUM FOR HIS ANTI-IGBO ACTIVITIES
The Igbo Leadership Development Foundation is deeply worried about the escalating anti-Igbo stances and activities of Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State. It is important to reemphasize that Engr. Dave Umahi is supposed to be the de facto political head of the South-East zone, a position he seized to frustrate all attempts to ensure unity of purpose in the zone and building of consensus. GOVERNOR UMAHI JUST DECLARED THAT EBONYI PEOPLE CAN NOT BE PART OF THE IGBO AGENDA. WHY THEN IS HE STILL CHAIRMAN SOUTH-EAST GOVERNORS FORUM WHERE IGBO AGENDA SHOULD BE ARTICULATED AND POLITICALLY PURSUED? The actions of Dave Umahi have rather weakened and disorganized the South-East and left the zone bare and naked for insecurity and underdevelopment and can be mostly seen in the following areas:
1). Regional Security
The worsening insecurity in the South-East is a direct consequence of the poor leadership and selfish disposition of Engr. Dave Umahi as the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum. The South-East failed under his leadership and watch to set up a regional security outfit in concert with the South-west zone, which has come up with Amotekun to deal with insecurity in that zone and complement the efforts of the police.
To date, the decision reached with Ohanaeze to establish Ebube Agu is yet to take off, forcing the chairman Maj. Gen. Abel Obi Umahi (rtd.) to resign. It was the politicization of security that also created the lacuna, which ESN tried to fill to provide security for the zone and today, the activities of UGM have rendered the once fastest developing and safest zone desolate and almost a no-go zone.
2) The Campaign for Nigerian President of South-East Extraction
It is also evident that while efforts were being made by well-meaning Ndigbo of the South-East for the realisation of the idea of Nigerian President of South-East extraction, Dave Umahi was busy positioning and pushing up himself for the position of Vice President.
He failed to rally the Governors of the South-East who he serves as chairman for a harmonised position. He refused to attend the Southern Nigeria Governors’ meetings held in Lagos, Asaba and Enugu for the same purpose. ILDF is also aware that Dave Umahi equally refused to attend the South-East APC Presidential Aspirants meeting and was the only aspirant that did not attend that meeting.
The result was that the South-East zone failed to present a coherent and unified position which lead to the reps of the South-East in the Governor Samuel Ortom Committee voting that the PDP presidential ticket should be thrown open, and for delegates from the South-East at both PDP and the APC primaries to vote for aspirants from other zones.
This is a clear case of failed leadership, for which Umahi is to blame. It is therefore surprising that after failing to organise the South-East for the best possible outcomes in readiness for 2023, Engr. Dave Umahi would blame Ohanaeze Ndigbo for his abysmal leadership failure at the APC primary, an organization, which has no political role to play in determining flag bearers of political parties.
3) Dave Umahi’s Statement that Ebonyi People will not vote for Labour Party/Peter Obi unfortunate
ILDF views this statement credited to Governor Dave Umahi, to the effect that Ebonyi People will not vote for the Labour Party/Peter Obi as most unfortunate. Though he now tries to deny it, the reckless and overreaching statement is characteristic of the man in question. For him, he is Ebonyi state (and even the entire South-East), and whatever he decides stands however obnoxious such position may be.
ILDF recognises the right of Dave Umahi to hold a political position and help his party win the presidential election. But it is against all the tenets of democracy for the governor to force all Ebonyians to compulsorily vote for his party. What is even more disturbing is that he singled out Labour Party/Peter Obi as if the APC and Labour are the only political parties involved in the 2023 presidential election. Recently, Dave Umahi, on a national television garrulously talked about writing results to give a political party 32% in the last presidential election. Probably Umahi hopes to use the same method to deny Labour Party/Peter Obi Igbo votes. ILDF wants to emphatically tell the governor that Ndigbo will not allow that to happen in 2023.
4) Our Stand
ILDF condemns in strong terms the anti-Igbo stances, activities and positions of the Ebonyi state governor, Engr. Dave Umahi and, as blood brothers, we advise him to make efforts to regain perspective and retrace his steps and seek psychological help at home and overseas for his manifest Megalomania, Egolalia and Egolalia, which blind his thoughts and actions. ILDF is also in possession of the video where Governor Dave Umahi publicly declared that Ebonyi is not part of the Igbo Agenda.
Why then is he still the chairman of the South-East Governors Forum where the Igbo Agenda should be articulated and politically pursued? Dave Umahi should remember Nnamdi Azikwe’s famous and eternal statement – ‘No condition is permanent – and should always bear in mind that in less than one year, he would become an ordinary citizen of the same Ebonyi state, South-East and Nigeria once again, with his immunity gone for good and the insecurity he created in the South-East will be waiting for him to contend with. ILDF will always stand for the Igbo collective and for the South-East/Igbo Strategic Interest, which Engr. Dave Umahi has always worked against.
Finally, ILDF is eagerly looking forward to the end of the tenure of the present set of governors, which is the very worst in the annals of our history (excluding Soludo who just came into office) and looking forward to the election of another set of governors in the South-East for a breath of fresh air. As for Umahi, let posterity be the judge.
Igbo ga adi!
Long live the Igbo nation, and long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
DR. GODWIN I. UDIBE
DR. LAW O. MEFOR
Vice-Chairman/Director, Public Affairs
ONYEBUCHI OBETA ESQ
Director of Finance
COMRADE AUSTON O. IFEDINEZI
Contact & Mobilisation
SIR KENNEDY AMADI