Governor of Ebonyi, David Umahi, says he is not opposed to the selection of Peter Obi as running mate to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Umahi said Obi is his friend and is competent enough for the role but he, however, insisted that every part of the south-east should have been consulted.
Speaking with journalists in Abakaliki on Tuesday, the governor said criticisms will not stop him from making his point.
“These people are tackling counsel without knowledge and I pity them because their utterances do not stop us from making our points. Nobody is against Peter Obi because he is my friend, competent and you must have seen our pictures together on the social media,” he said.
“We must take decisions against the marginalization of Ebonyi people because if we have to vote, we must be treated with equity. Two names of the nominees came from Anambra, two from Abia and one from Enugu but none came from Ebonyi and Imo.
“What is wrong with somebody from Ebonyi and Imo and you must know that one of the reasons an Ebonyi man is against regions in the country, is the fear of further marginalisation.”
The governor said even if someone from Ebonyi is picked, the party owes them an explanation.
“Nobody chooses the vice president for anybody, it is just like a wife issue but if other people were on the list, people from Ebonyi should be there. Even if we would not make the list as the choice is for Abubakar to make, we should know what disqualifies us from being picked,” Umahi said.
“When my chief press secretary (CPS) issued a statement congratulating Obi, the zone’s leaders started calling me, saying that I have made the VP alone.
“I had to issue a counter statement telling them that I was not consulted before the statement was released and that it was an honest mistake from the CPS.
“I cannot endorse Obi alone and am confident that in further decisions, the Igbo man must be consulted. If the position I had was my sin, I cannot repent from it.”
Umahi maintained that southeast leaders must sit with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and that, if all must work together, the leaders must be part of the decision making.
“I am talking about the southeast people and if six people can come from other regions and take decisions, there must be somebody from the southeast zone.
“There is nothing like the southeast governor’s stand on the matter; but we are only saying that when decisions are taken and people from other regions are invited, those from the southeast must be invited.
“The southeast leaders never issued any statement on the matter and anybody from the zone who says that our stand is not good, is not a human being,” he s