The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has come under fire from the Ebonyi State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party, South Zone, for blatantly declaring that he will be the only one to decide who will follow him in the Senate.
Having unilaterally “abandoned” the seat in order to pursue his ministerial post, and without consulting the residents of Ebonyi South Zone, it was observed that it was absurd for the state’s recently-exiled governor to return and insist he will produce his successor at the Red Chamber.
Augustine Nwazunku, the state PDP chapter chairman, stated in a statement on Wednesday that Umahi should apologize for making such an ominous statement.
After being named minister by President Bola Tinubu, Umahi served as a senator for the Ebonyi South District until he resigned.
I have the right to choose who would follow me, Umahi openly declared on September 9 during a courtesy call to Ebonyi State Governor Francis Nwifuru.
However, the PDP stated in a statement, “The attention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State, has been called to the sinister assertion credited to the Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi, that he (Umahi) has the power to select his replacement in the Senate.
The Minister made a statement that, in our opinion, was completely inappropriate for a man of his rank. Given that Chief Umahi, who served as the governor of Ebonyi State from 2015 to 2023, was controversially elected to the Senate, he unilaterally left the Senate without consulting his Ebonyi South Senatorial District people in order to pursue a ministerial job.
“It is utterly absurd of him to return again and make such a foolish and anti-democratic claim that he should be permitted to select his Senate replacement.
“First and foremost, we anticipated that an intelligent man like Umahi would be aware that the Election Petitions Tribunal’s ruling on the petitions filed by his opponents in the Senate elections of February 2023 was not the final word on his contentious appointment to the Senate.
“His rivals, Sen. Mike Nnechi (PDP) and Hon. Linus Okorie, have expressed a desire to challenge the Tribunal’s ruling. Only after the legal issues have been resolved, depending on how the case turns out, will the question of bye- or rerun elections be raised.
The minister was accused of abusing his position, and the party claimed that this was typical of his criminal behavior.
“For Umahi to have jumped the gun by piling up pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin preparations for new elections in the Ebonyi South Senatorial District is a clear case of impunity and arrogant/reckless abuse of power which further benchmarks Umahi’s usual acts of impudence and lawlessness,” it was stated in the statement.
“Electing representatives to the National Assembly is a sovereign right of the people of the Ebonyi South Senatorial District. Umahi has absolutely no capacity to force his way through like he did when he was the present governor of Ebonyi State in the particular case of the current Ebonyi South Senatorial District.
Umahi should focus on his role as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Minister of Works and keep his distance from matters pertaining to the Ebonyi South Senatorial District now that he has renounced the contentious mandate he had originally taken up.