Another aspirant has joined the fast-growing list of hopefuls ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi said yesterday he would be seeking the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket.
He told reporters at the State House after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari to inform him of his ambition.
On Monday APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu, threw his hat into the ring.
Umahi is the first governor to announce his interest.
Last week former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, signified to seek the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) .
Also yesterday, Senate Chief Whip Orji Uzor Kalu hinged his ambition on APC zoning presidential ticket to the Southeast.
Umahi defected to the APC from the PDP almost 14 months ago, citing what he described as the opposition party’s unwillingness to cede the presidential ticket to the Southeast.
On his chances of clinching the APC slot, Umahi went biblical: “The Bible that I swore with, a section of it in 1 Samuel, says that by strength shall no man prevail, and power and might belong to God. He chooses whomever he wills and he will do that in 2023. I’m not in a contest with anybody I’m in a contest with myself”, he replied.
The governor also said he stood a good chance if the APC throws the race open, especially by zoning it to the South.
His words: “I told Mr. President that without prejudice to whatever will be the decision of the party, which we shall abide by, that if the party throws the ticket open or zoned it to South, that I believe that with what I have put in place in the past six years plus, that I’ll be running for Presidency on the platform of APC.
“He believes that whoever wants to run for President of this country must have to consult widely; go to all the leaders and that we must do everything to remove ethnicity and religion in our politics so that this country can grow.”
The governor added that given the opportunity, his Presidency will replicate his efforts in Ebonyi State at the national level,.
He also said he had a lot to show in running governance as a business.
Asked if he had commenced consultations with Southeast stakeholders like the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Umahi said he deemed it necessary to first inform the President..
Umahi, however, categorically said that Ohanaeze ought not to be involved in party politics.
He said: “I wouldn’t have done that without first coming to clear with Mr. President that there is this feeling in the Southeast that has not produced the President and that our people feel our leaders should indicate interest to contest. . But at the end of the day, it is God Almighty and the political parties that will also decide.”