Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council has described David Umahi, Ebonyi governor, as the new ‘Zik of Africa’.
‘Zik of Africa’ was the sobriquet of the Late Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first president (non-executive) and one of Africa’s greatest independence leaders.
On Tuesday, Umahi confirmed his defection to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor said he left the PDP because of “injustice”, alleging that the party has refused to zone the 2023 presidency to the south-east.
But Wike tackled Umahi, saying the Ebonyi state governor left the PDP because he wants to be president.
“My friend, Umahi, wants to be president. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you. You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be president of Nigeria. But that does not mean that you have to blackmail your party, and tell lies to the people you are leaving the party because of the injustice meted against the south-east. That is not correct,” Wike had said.
Reacting in a statement on Friday, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, OYC president-general, described Wike as the Idi Amin of the PDP, saying he has no right to speak on Umahi’s defection.
Idi Amin, is the former head of state of Uganda, reputed to be a brutal dictator.
In the statement co-signed by Obinna Achionye, OYC deputy-president general, and Okwu Nnabuike, secretary-general, the group said Umahi’s defection to the APC is good development for the Igbo.
OYC described the PDP’s reaction as “crying more than the bereaved, and drinking Panadol in someone’s headache”, adding that “Igbos are grateful for the courageous stance of Umahi to lead the re integration of Southeast back to mainstream political party, where Igbo can harvest bountifully the dividends of democracy”.
“Traditionally, Igbo don’t Excel in opposition, so OYC react to PDP’s claims of giving igbos, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, deputy speaker, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief of Army’s staff, as baseless and a confirmation of heights of parochialism of a sinking political party,” it said.
“Whatever southeast gained from PDP in the last 20 years was a reward for igbo legend, Dr Alex Ekwueme’s roles in PDP’s formations from G34 led by him, and what PDP rhetorically gained from southeast outweighs what southeast gained, and PDP’s outcries shows that milking of Igbo votes ended up with umahi’s defection, as more governors are joining to APC sooner than later.”
OYC said Wike needs to appease the Igbo over the killings in Oyigbo local government area of Rivers.
The group said it is in support of Umahi’s defection from the PDP to the ruling party.
“Wike’s reactions on Umahi’s defection and possibly defection of another Southeast Governor can be ascribed to the qualities of Janus god (two faced), for the innocent bloods spilled at obigbo (Oyigbo) massacres are seeking for justice, which made it impossible for him (Wike) to have any locus standi to morally speak on any national issues or umahi’s defection, until he had appeased the igbo, because he exhibits dictatorship qualities that portray him as the “idi amin of PDP”, politically, Wike had been trapped within Rivers State boundaries with a lot of moral burdens,” the group said.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council worldwide stand With Governor Dave Umahi, as the new Zik of Africa, one of assets of Igbo Nation and a courageous Igbo political leader at the moment, as PDP’s loss, is Igbos gain in APC.”