Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Thursday, said that his administration would fight corruption to a stand-still, if elected president in 2023.
Umahi said this while addressing a crowd of All Progressives Congress (APC) members and supporters at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki.
The crowd was at the centre to welcome him after his visit to inform President Muhammadu Buhari about his presidential aspiration.
He told the people that the cardinal thrust of his administration, if elected president, would be to fight corruption, build infrastructure and deepen the nation’s economy.
He said that corruption was stiffling the nation’s economic growth.
According to him, there will be no meaningful progress until the leadership of this country sat in a round-table to chat the way forward.
Umahi said: “It is time for the leaders to sit down in a round-table. This is the time to repent and build a future for our children and grandchildren.
“It is not about Mr president, it is not about the governor. The led have a lot to do.
“It is a question of turning away from our sinful ways and turning away from self and knowing that it is appointed unto man to die but once, after that judgement.”
He said that his administration would focus on how to deepen the gains made by Buhari’s administration.
He further said that he would devote more efforts towards improving other critical sectors of the economy, if voted into office.
The governor also spoke on his meeting with the president, saying he re-echoed the recent appeal by the Igbo leaders for the president to pursue political solution to the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
“I went and I saw the father of the nation and the leader of our great party, APC.
“And let me announce that the president, leader of our party and lover of Ebonyi, will be coming to Ebonyi in March.
“It is going to be a historic visit and Ebonyi will never be the same thereafter,” Umahi said.
He reaffirmed his belief in one indivisible, united Nigeria, where fairness, justice and equity would reign.
“Let nobody be afraid of Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.
“Igbomen are builders, we are not destroyers and it is my position and that of South-East governors that anybody found disturbing the peace of the zone should be crushed,” he said.
The governor gave assurance that the ongoing projects initiated by his administration would not suffer setback because of his presidential project.
Also, the Publisher of Ovation International magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, and a former Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, have notified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of their intentions to run for the 2023 presidential election on the party’s platform.
The two aspirants disclosed their intentions when they presented their letters of intention to the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, on Thursday in Abuja.
Ayu, while receiving Momodu’s letter, assured all aspirants that the party had no preferred aspirant, saying Nigerians would determine who would be the party’s candidate.
“PDP is a great party. That is why people like you have not just joined the party but want to contribute your services to the country.
“We know the work you have done in the media over the years, you are certainly a respected media personality in the country.
“You tried your hands in politics in the past and I hope that you will continue to support the party.
“You must work hard to build the party because for you to run for office, you must have a strong platform, a united party, a strong platform, a focused party with which you can go into battle.
“There will be a level playing field for all aspirants. We do not have any special aspirant. We do not have a preferred candidate.
“It is the party members who will decide and if at the end of the day, the party members vote for you that you are the one they want, we will queue behind you,” Ayu said.
Momodu, reading his intention letter to journalists, shortly after the submission, said that after due consultations with his family, friends and some stakeholders, he arrived at the decision to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of PDP, if elected as the party’s candidate.
He added that the move was his personal decision, although he had received advice, encouragement and support from diverse quarters since he started his consultations.
“I, therefore, offer myself to the PDP as the best aspirant to turn the fortunes of our esteemed party and our well- endowed country around. In this regard, and with a deep sense of humility and profound respect.
“I urge the party not to consider picking its candidate based on the usual considerations which had spectacularly failed our country in the past.
“The mood of the teeming youths, and indeed every patriotic Nigerian, who we need to come out en masse to vote for our party, aligns with this view.
“It is for this reason, that I invite our great party, PDP, to accept that it must search for a veritable flag bearer with the requisite leadership and visionary qualities that Nigerians now earnestly yearn for.
“I am convinced that the time has come to seriously challenge and dislodge those politicians who have held our country to ransom by kidnapping, hijacking and destroying the future of our younger generation and generations yet unborn,” Momodu said.
He added that he was better prepared now than at the time of his first “foray into the fray” in 2011, adding: ”I am fully ready and certainly capable for the onerous tasks and responsibilities ahead.”
Momodu promised that he would not be harassed, bullied or intimidated by anyone who felt he or she could buy Nigeria with cash fraudulently taken from Nigerians.
He pledged to follow the best traditions of his heroic mentor, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, who had wanted to banish poverty in Nigeria, but was disallowed from achieving the laudable objective.
Momodu said that Nigeria urgently required reconciliation and forgiveness and a closure of the nation’s ugly past.
Fielding questions on his view on consensus candidate, Momodu said that it was possible, but no aspirant would be better than him.
He said the PDP needed a candidate who could not be bullied, who cut across party lines and could ignite the passion of Nigerian youths, which he represents.
He said that he was proud to join PDP in the presidential race because “it is the only other option,” he said.
On his part, Ohuabunwa also speaking with journalists said that running the office of president was not by age but management, experience, sound health and adequate planning.
“This office of president is a serious office. You must have experience in managing many things at the same time.
“I have the experience. I have been trained. I may belong to the older group but my spirit, my heart is of a young person,” Ohuabunwa said.
He said that if given the opportunity, his administration would set Key Performance Index (KPI), review it every quarter and enthrone competence, among others.
“I am coming to lay the foundation for proper unity of our nation to create a level-playing ground where every child born in every part of this country will have the same opportunity like the other child to achieve his potentials the way it happens in the United States of America”.