Embattled Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has stated that the judgement by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who ordered him and his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, to vacate their offices for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) poses no threat to his presidential ambition.
Umahi, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari along with his colleagues from the APC in respect of the March 26 convention, described the judgement as a blessing in disguise, stressing that a counter pronouncement by a Federal High Court in Abuja, has affirmed that he enjoys immunity as an elected governor, and that votes secured during an election legally belongs to the candidate and not a political party.
Umahi, while referring to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, but failed to mention his name, lauded him for admitting on national television that he was behind the hatchet job.
Taking a swipe on Wike, the Ebonyi state governor likened him (Wike) to biblical Judas Iscariot, noting that as a man who relies on the breath of God like any other mortal, he cannot determine his fate.
According to him, he serves only the living God while that of his unnamed counterpart, might be based on alcohol.
Asked if he was perturbed about the court judgement, Umahi said: “Do I look worried? You see, God has plans for everything. And I think that God allowed one court to give judgment that I go nowhere, allowed another court to say, because we defected, that the votes belong to the party.
“And I’m very worried because the highest court has said that votes belong to the candidates. And that’s why even though APC won the election in Bayelsa State, but the deputy governors credentials, were defective.
“And even a day to swearing in, the Supreme Court ruled disqualifying the candidate of APC that won the election because of his deputy. And so if votes belonged to the party, it would have been that the Supreme Court in its wisdom would have just asked for the man that won election for the party to bring the substitutes to do that.
“So, I’m not worried. Because in the first place, there is no constitutional provision that says that the governor can be sued in the first place, so I’m not sue-able. You know, but a court judgment is a court judgment, I’m not in the position to interpret it but the Constitution, we swore to uphold, I can speak to the Constitution.
“And the Constitution says that, once you’re elected, you enjoy immunity, and Supreme Court says votes cast in an election belong to the candidate. And that’s why you have qualifications of a candidate and not qualifications of a political party. So I’m not worried.
“But you see, God allowed it so that where I couldn’t reach in terms of my consultation, this situation has made it possible for me to reach those places. And to truly see that Nigerians love me and they want me and that is the reason for that.
“And I want to thank the PDP and even the man that boosted that he did that hatchet job. If the people that crucify Christ knew that it will bring salvation to the whole world, they wouldn’t have done that. So the hatchet man that boasted is liken to Judas Iscariot. And so I have no worry because the Constitution is clear. I have confidence in the judiciary and so you can see I have added some weight in these few days and looking more handsome.”
Asked if he and his unnamed counterpart had personal grouse aside the politics of decamping to APC, he said: “Probably the difference between us will be our faith. I serve the living God and he probably a lot of alcohol. I don’t drink. So that is the differences between us otherwise he remains my friend and my brother and I have nothing against him.”
When pressured to name the governor he was referring to, Umahi said: “You should be the one telling me. You heard him on Channels boasting that he is behind. A mere man that depends on the breath of God. I pity illiteracy. It’s a shame. You are boosting to remove another governor.
“What qualifies you just because you’re packing money that is public fund? Not intellectual material but by just packing money from public funds and you are boasting about it. Otherwise, who were you?
“I became a billionaire at the age of 25. I’ve worked all my life and I have asked him to come for public debates.
“I do not commission 3.4 kilometer road. I commission 35 kilometer roads. I commissioned twin flyovers running to one kilometer. I commission mega projects with little resources.
“So, if he says he has done well and he is Mr this or that, let him come for public debate with me. Let’s start with our childhoods. So I’m not disturbed.”
Asked whether his presidential ambition has died he said: “It could be just your own imagination because there is no such thing. You can see us in the various media houses, you know, social media. You can see my supporters everywhere, you can see my consultation.