THE Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has accused delegates from the South-East to the just-concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary of “trading” their votes.
Umahi made the allegation at the matriculation ceremony of the King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu, Ebonyi State, on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
The governor said that his several appeals to the delegates that they should look beyond him and put the South-East first during voting at the convention did not yield any fruit.
He said, “I had a series of meetings with the party’s chairmen in the five states of the zone in the company of its national vice chairman.
“I implored the delegates that the issue was not about me but the mood of the Igbos in the nation. I implored that they should vote for any aspirant from the Southeast so that when the votes are counted, we would not be missing.”
He said residents of the South-East should stop complaining about marginalisation since they could not support someone like him from their region with their votes.
“We would have made a strong statement in the process that the Igbos are eminently qualified with due capacity to lead the country.
“They will come later to preach about Igbo unity and its agenda but, henceforth, the only agenda I know is the Ebonyi agenda.
“This shows that even if we have an equal number of local government areas and delegates such as other zones, we would still trade our votes.
“We are currently regarded as people who can sell anything, but they should remember that anyone who betrays his brother will lose the trust of those who gained from the betrayal.
“There was no sort of lobbying I did not receive, but I maintained that it was about bringing the marginalisation of the Igbos to the fore,” he said.
He commended the delegates from Ebonyi State for their trust and steadfastness, assuring them that other people would soon realise that money is not everything.
“You (Ebonyi delegates) have made yourselves reference points of steadfastness in the country and when people are seeking for trustworthy people, they will come for you.
“I have lost total confidence in the leadership of the Ohaneze Ndigbo socio-cultural organisation and will openly confront anyone who challenges the Ebonyi agenda,” he said.
Umahi garnered the highest votes of 38 by any South-East aspirant in the primary, which was won by a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.