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Umahi: Politics, feats and 2 years of radical revolution in Ebonyi

By Monica Ada Chidinma Eze on 02/06/2017

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•Governor Umahi.
•Governor Umahi.

The indefatigable Engr. David Nwaeze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, who was inaugurated as the Governor of Ebonyi State on May 29, 2015 have spent two years in office by May 29, 2017. In a situation like this, it is imperative to examine and x-ray the feats or otherwise of whoever is saddled with such a highly and exalted position, with a view to ascertaining if such a leader has done well, or have wasted the opportunity given to him or her. In the light of the above, as a concerned young Ebonyian lady, I took this task of analysing and presenting to the world the scorecard and wonders that this energetic, vibrant, visionary and focused leader have brought to bear in the lives of Ebonyi people, and the politics of Nigeria at large.

Umahi, considered by many as the pride of Ebonyi State, have truly redefined governance in the state. He came into the governance of the state when the country was in a recession with determinate consequences of dwindling economic fortune, both at the state and federal levels. As result, it was a big challenge for state governments to pay salaries of civil servants, talk-less of embarking on any meaningful projects that will impact on the lives of their citizens. Umahi came to power when Ebonyi State was considered the most underdeveloped state not only in the Southern part of Nigeria but as one of the most underdeveloped in Nigeria. He came to power when our people have lost hope in governance, as they were not only denied dividends of democracy but no longer knew what governance is all about. 

Apart from the above challenges and in order to compound the situation in Ebonyi State; it is sad to note that most members of the opposition political parties in Ebonyi instead of complimenting or supporting the efforts of the Umahi’s administration prefer not see anything good in his efforts to improve on the wellbeing and progress of the State and in their attempts to castigate and ridicule the Umahi’s administration, their embark upon campaign of calumny by presenting an erroneous picture of the government as not performing or executing any meaningful project. Some of them have mischievously ascribed the three flyovers being built by the administration to the Federal Government, questioning the financial muscle of the state government to embark upon such gigantic projects, in view of the lean purse of the state. It is sad that some people, because of politics, have resolved to be blind to the great works that the governor is doing in Ebonyi. Their unfortunate stand notwithstanding, majority of Ebonyians, including outsiders, are fully aware and appreciative of the great work happening in the state. 

I am glad to note that all these challenges and uncomfortable scenarios were just incentives for Umahi to do the impossible in Ebonyi State as he demonstrates his ingenuity in the arts of governance that forced the amiable Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, to describe him as the “wisest governor” in Nigeria. It is also a fact not minding the position of the opposition political parties and people that are awed by the great feats of the Umahi’s administration in such a short period of time that under the administration of this enigma, Ebonyi State can boast of the best Laboratory Diagnostic Centre and equipped Virology Centre. Recently, the Inspector-General of Police stated that Umahi is the most-friendly governor in Nigeria, while the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington described the Ebonyi Rice as the best in the entire world; while the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright stated that, “Ebonyi roads are the best in the South-East”With all these postulations, one cannot make any mistake to declare that Umahi has delivered.

Let me state further that at a time when many other states are finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries or meet other basic needs as a result of the economic recession in the country, the Umahi Administration, despite Ebonyi’s modest resources, embarks on numerous road projects, flyovers, roundabouts, street lights and hospitals, while also executing a revolution in agriculture, as well as the educational and health sectors. This is in addition to regular payment of civil servants, who also get paid at 13th month by the State Government. Therefore, Governor Ikpeazu was 100% correct in describing Governor Umahi as the wisest State Governor in Nigeria.

Before presenting to you the scorecard of the two years of revolution in Ebonyi under the leadership of Governor Umahi, let me formally present this enigma of a man who goes by the title – Akubaraoha  because of his philanthropy and concern for humanity for your study and perusal.

The Politics and the Profile of Engr. Dvid Nweze Umahi

Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi was a very successful businessman before he ventured into politics. Besides, he has all the good things to make one comfortable. However, his desire to make a difference in the politics of his state influenced him to contest the highest political office in the state and, as God would have it, he succeeded through what is commonly defined in Ebonyi as Divine Mandate. He is popularly known by his chieftaincy title, Akubaraaoha (wealth that touches the lives of the multitude), because of his benevolence and philanthropy through which he has awarded thousands of scholarship to indigent students of Ebonyi State and alleviated many in other ventures.

Engr. Dave. Nweze Umahi against all odds and obstacles put before his path by the Elechi’s political machine won the gubernatorial election in Ebonyi State in 2015 very convincingly; an election that radically changed the political mindset and landscape of Ebonyi State and made Engr. Umahi the first person from the southern section of the State to become the Governor of Ebonyi State. He has so exhibited and impacted his vision so visibly that Nigerians now boast and celebrate that truly a new visionary, focussed, determined, patriotic, revolutionary, egalitarian leader in the mould of Dr. Akanu Ibiam the first Governor of the defunct Eastern Nigeria who happens to come from the same section of the State like Umahi is thrown to the centre stage of the politics of our country, Nigeria. 

He ran and won the Governorship of Ebonyi State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Born January 1, 1964 to late Elder Joseph Umahi Nweze and Margret Umahi of Umunaga in Uburu, Ohaoazara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Umahi received his secondary education from Ishiagu High School and the Government Secondary School of Afikpo before entering the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in 1982. He graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

In 1990, he co-founded Norman Engineering and Construction Nig. Limited with Ombo Isokarari, serving as its general manager until 1993. Until 2011, he served as chairman and CEO of Brass Engineering & Construction Nig. Ltd., Focus Investment Nig. Ltd., and Osborn La Palm Royal Resort Ltd.

Umahi entered public service in 2007 as the acting chairman of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party. From 2009 to 2011, he served as state chairman of the party. During that term, he served a year on the governing board of the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba as its chairman.

In 2011, Umahi became deputy governor of Ebonyi State on a ticket with Chief Martin Elechi. In 2014, the then Governor Elechi supported Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health, as his successor, which Umahi said violated an understanding that he would take over from Elechi In October 2015, the legitimacy of the election was upheld by the Governorship Election Tribunal and later by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Umahi had defeated the then Labour Party candidate, Dr. Edward Nkwegu who came second in the disputed election. The result of the election was consequently challenged by his fiercest rival, from the tribunal to the Supreme Court and Engr. Umahi secured victory at every stage.

Having been a PDP chairman before being elected Elechi’s Deputy in 2011, Engr. Umahi, who was adjudged by many sound politicians as an old broom that knows all corners of the house and therefore should sweep better in party politics, had tactfully warmed himself into the then PDP national hierarchy and the Presidency and proved himself as an outstanding political tactician. 

Not to give room to any political manoeuvre by his opponents he enrolled an army that will begin deep grassroots penetration across and breadth of the State by mobilising and strongly supported the formation of Akubaraoha Youth Assembly with Comrade Mark Chopper Onu as its National Coordinator. In addition, the appointment of over 191 Special Technical Assistants and Technical Assistants across all the crooks and crannies of the Salt of the Nation, the efforts of any opposing group to unseat him will amount only to an exercise in futility.

Umahi and His Mission in Ebonyi State

Brian Tracy was foreseeing what is currently happening in Ebonyi State through the incumbent governor, Engr. Umahi, when he stated: “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” To strengthen the position of Tracy, John Bunyan on the other hand stated: “You have not lived today, until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” All these leaders’ positions tally with Engr Dave Umahi’s vision and mission for Ebonyi State when he stated, “Our mission is to enhance the welfare of our people, and empower all Ebonyians to be self-reliant, through the compassionate delivery of transparent and God-fearing governance, based on integrity and dignity.”

Special awards and recognition

Award from the Police

The Nigeria Police Force has described the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi,  as the best police-friendly governor in Nigeria and in recognition of this, the Force, through its Deputy Inspector-General, Valentine Ntomchukwu, presented Umahi with a special plaque at the state Executive Council Chambers, Government House in Abakalik.  According to Ntomchukwu,“ The  Inspector-General, Ibrahim  Idris,  has asked me to tell you that you are the most police-friendly governor in Nigeria based on your donation of communication equipment  to the command, renovation of the perimeter fencing and security post of the command headquarters, provision of streetlight  and construction of houses for policemen of rank and file and also a storey building

Special recognition by the British High Commissioner

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright commended Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State for developing infrastructure in the state barely two years of his administration. According to Mr. Arkwright, made stated that he has travelled on smooth roads into  and within  the state, describing the roads in Ebonyi  as the best in the South-East;  “Ebonyi roads are the best in the South-East,”  His words: “We are here to look into the opportunity in agriculture, rice production and infrastructure.

“As a young state, Ebonyi is quite optimistic to the future and the United Kingdom will be a partner to realising the future. The United Kingdom is aware of the challenges of development in Africa and Nigeria in particular.” 

The Governor responding to the Envoy stated: “The British Government should move on to help Africa. Nigeria is the largest country in Africa. When you brought to us religion, we accepted it but you didn’t bring your technology. I think there is the need to develop your technology in Nigeria. I want to take that opportunity as you said and we want to partner you in the area of agriculture. We have a lot of mineral deposits like zinc, salt, lead and others. In fact, we are sitting on money.” 

Umahi as the Wisest Governor in Nigeria

According to the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, “Gov Umahi’s style of leadership is truly unique and has the imprint of wisdom all over it and stands as the wisest Governor in Nigerai today

Special recognition by the USA Ambassador

It is proud to note the statement credited to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington that, “Your rice is the best anywhere in the world and we commend the Governor for putting his government to work in Ebonyi State.”

Special recognition by the South East Governors’ Forum

The Forum recognised the special leadership of Engr. Dave. Nweze Umahi and approved him to head the Forum and for the first time the South East Governors’ Forum under the purposeful and visionary leadership of Governor Dave Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State has a vision and drive for zonal socio-economic and security integration of the region and have mapped out strategies especially in energy sector for greater economic activities in Igboland. To me the appointment of Governor Umahi is a recognition of the sagacity, prowess of Umahi and acceptable of Ebonyi State into the mainstream of the politics of South East.


As much as it is impossible to in one article enumerate all the feats of this great leader from Ebonyi State, let me conclude by stating that if we are to judge Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi based on the realities of his feats in the governance of Ebonyi State, I can comfortably state that Ebonyians will continue to give him their full support and will cap it by overwhelmingly re-electing him in 2019 to enable him continue his good work,” 

I therefore congratulate Governor Umahi my leader and my uncle for showing that Ebonyi State can be number one State in Nigeria and for all these great feats and positive testimonies by distinguished non-Ebonyians and redefining governance in Ebonyi State, I must state that I am proud to be called ADA EBONYI and one of those considered worthy to be among the Umahi great team.

•Monica Ada Chidinma Eze is Technical Assistant (TA) on Media to Governor Dave Nweze Umahi and can be reached through 08136056524, and

Source News Express

Posted 02/06/2017 09:44:53 AM


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