Explainer: David Umahi Has Shown Interest For The Presidency, But Will He Win?

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Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, declared his presidential ambitions to President Muhammadu Buhari, less than 24 hours after Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC National Leader, gave his own presidential interests to Buhari as well. But with his reputation as governor, does he stand a chance?

In this article, we will give more insight into what his recent interest in the presidency means for Nigerian politics:

Umahi’s Interest in The Presidency

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State on Tuesday, January 11th, was at the State House, Abuja to inform President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to run for President under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.

Umahi’s visit came barely 24 hours after the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu also visited the Villa to inform the President of his presidential ambition. The governor, who spoke with newsmen after a closed-door meeting with President Buhari, said he stands a better chance to emerge as APC presidential candidate going by his pedigree as a governor in one of the South-East states.

He said: “I believe my outstanding performance as governor of Ebonyi state in the last close to seven years stands me out as someone who can replicate same if elected President of Nigeria”.

Umahi was also asked about the involvement of the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze. The governor said that was not necessary adding that the group should not involve itself in politics, saying, “I’m not sure Ohaneze should be involved in politics. They should just not dabble into the unfolding politics of 2023”.

Why Does This Matter?

Umahi is the first person from South-East Nigeria to declare his interest to run for the 2023 presidential elections. He has made his desire for the zoning of the APC presidential ticket to the South-East. However, this flies against the implied notion that the ticket will be zoned to the South West. By setting his stall early, as he did by decamping from the PDP to the APC in November 2020, he positioned himself to be a beneficiary of any potential needs to cater to the South East within the ruling party.

By announcing so early, Umahi may also be making a play for the Vice Presidency. In potentially running for the Presidency and building the structure to support such a run, he has leverage to trade on when there’s increased jockeying as the primaries loom.


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