When first I came across the report of the love jamboree between the president of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari and the estranged governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi on the media space, I was smeared in the dew of guffaw. Why was I laughing? I was laughing because, the two men who claimed to be entangled by common love are actually not known to be two lovebirds, neither do they have respect for friendship. Though one could vouch for president Buhari in this regard, having brought close to the corridors of power his few friends, but such cannot be said of the “Defector-General” of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi.
I am writing as someone who knows the governor and a very critical student of his public lifestyle. I can be said to have graduated from this voyage of characteristical scholarship of him. Engr. David Umahi doesn’t have a known friend in his entire life and doesn’t keep friendship for that matter. He goes contractual about everything that he does. Whenever he’s in dire need of your services or assistance, he calls you in, either pays you or would trick you into seeing him as a genuine friend and when the result is achieved, he discards you and later denies having known you for the very first time in his life. Evidences abound.
In the buildup to the 2015 general elections, then, Engr. David Umahi was deputy governor. His principal, the then Gov. Martin Elechi denied him an endorsement to succeed him as governor after telling him that he learnt he’s not a good with power, pointing out that he’s mercantile with power and obviously amorphous to opposition. Something later happened. Umahi befriended all the political actors in Ebonyi State and beyond. It was a superficial show of affection, or what could at best be described as political love affair. The then president Goodluck Jonathan was one of such friends he made at the time. Others were: Patience Jonathan, Arthur Eze, Cletus Ibeto, Anyim Pius Anyim, Sam Egwu, Franklin Ogbuewu, Lawrence Nwuruku, Obinna Ogba, Fred Udeogu, Sylvanus Ngiji Ngele, Fidelis Nwankwo, Sonni Ogbuorji, Emmanuel Agboti, Emmanuel Onwe, etc. These men are the top-notch political actors in Ebonyi State whom he befriended around 2014-15 when he justled for the guber ticket of the PDP in the state.
After winning the election, the friendship took a mysterious flight. I want to ask you who are reading this article, ‘have you ever heard that former president Jonathan Goodluck or his wife was in Ebonyi State since 2015 for an official function? Have you ever read Umahi eulogize the former president or his wife who was particularly hellbent on installing Umahi against the wishes of Ebonyi PDP and the then outgoing governor? His friendship with them was momentary. Once he achieved the purpose for which the friendship was established, he turned them political foes. He instead wangled his way into the APC as a PDP governor. He abruptly forsook all of the men that made him who he is today politically. He forsook Cletus Ibeto and Arthur Eze. He forsook Anyim Pius Anyim and Sam Egwu. He forsook Obinna Ogba and Franklin Ogbuewu. He forsook Sylvanus Ngiji Ngele and Fidelis Nwankwo. He forsook Lawrence Nwuruku and Emmanuel Agboti, etc. That’s the kind of friendship Engr David Umahi keeps.
Now, he has come up with another theatrical parlance: “President Buhari loves me and I love him, too”. This was exactly how he started it in 2014. But the difference is clear now: acquisition of presidential ticket is not as easy as that of gubernatorial ticket. People are now wiser. Those he used and dumped, but who are still very much relevant in the political space have got a lot of tales to tell about Umahi’s love stage show. Many people are not going to fall victim of this decrepit or outdated political smokescreen. He has disappointed many who are still apparent in the business of politics in Ebonyi and at the national level. Maybe you are yet to hear that Osborne Umahi, his 22 year old first son has refused continuing marriage rites with the last child of President Buhari. His father has superimposed the mandate on him – success of which he thinks could lubricate the viability of his aspiration to get the APC’s presidential nomination come 2023. The young boy is averse to such a mercantile connubial escapade. He’s presently enmeshed in a domestic battle of interest with his superlatively desperate father. And this is one of the driving forces of the fictive love that the governor has said to have with President Buhari.
And in the event that Gov. Umahi later loses the APC presidential ticket come 2023, would he still be in love with his soulmate, president Muhammad Buhari owing to his history of contractual and theatrical political love affair with the political class?
•Nwoba Chika Nwoba wrote in from Amangwuru Village, Ekpelu, Ikwo LGA of Ebonyi State.