Ebonyi South : Shopping for Umahi’s Replacement at the Senate

In Austin we trust, by Ebonyi South stakeholders

•He has character, capacity, competence, they say

Political and non-political actors in Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone have declared their support for Deacon Austin Umahi (DAU) to represent them in the Senate, following the appointment of the former senator representing the zone and erstwhile governor of the state, Engr. David Umahi, as minister of works. According to them, considering DAU’s antecedents, there is no doubt that he will give them maximum representation.

Some are even saying that the present situation was divinely initiated considering that DAU had won the senatorial primary of the APC in 2022 before bowing to party interest, as a loyal party man.

Interestingly, people are talking about DAU for Senate everywhere even when he has not declared his intention to run for the by-election. A community leader, Mr. S. Eze, endorsed him thus: “You don’t hide a good product. He has robust experience in business and politics. So, he very much fits into the portfolio.”

Chairman, Ebonyi State Muslim Forum, Engr. Abass Egwu opined that Chief Austin deserves to represent Ebonyi South in the Senate because, according to him, he was behind some of the remarkable political successes recorded by the party in the state.

Egwu said that DAU has the capacity, experience, temperament, connection and goodwill to clinch the party ticket, win the by-election and give effective representation which the zone desires. He added that it would be a seamless transition even as the people continue to reap the benefits of continuity in government.

Egwu said: “Deacon Austin Umahi replacing Senator David Umahi in the vacant Ebonyi South Senatorial seat is a case of who the cap fits, let him wear it. He is tested and trusted. He is an accomplished gentleman and he has the intellectual sagacity to make things happen. Deacon Austin Umahi was the Director General of the Ebonyi State APC Campaign Council in the just concluded election which saw APC clinch all the three senatorial seats and the gubernatorial seat.

“APC also had a landmark victory over other political parties in the state and federal legislative elections.Deacon Umahi is an astute politician and a disciplined administrator. He is eminently qualified to represent us in the Red Chamber.”

For Dr Jude Umahi, Chief Austin is celebral and well-grounded manager of men and materials, who by all standards, has demonstrated proven competence and capacity in various spheres where his services were required. He added that Austin has made numerous political sacrifices to keep the party and polity in good shape. According to him, more importantly, DAU is a team player.

Dr Jude said: “William Shakespeare’s memorabilia, as encapsulated in Twelfth Night, ‘be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them,’ aptly captures the persona of Chief Austin Umahi, who I can authoritatively write his autobiography without external assistance having been allies for 33 years.”

Stressing that Austin’s leadership ability began to manifest as a student when he attracted the first ever scholarship in the annals of Igbo students in the University of Jos several years ago. Dr Jude disclosed that through Austin’s leadership character, capacity and competence, students began to awaken their latent potentials, by translating dreams to reality. He added that throughout his period at the University of Jos, Austin was associated with firsts and excellence, till graduation in 1996 when he obtained BSC in Accounting.

Dr Jude noted that Austin’s experience and uncanny ability to negotiate successfully will be an advantage to his constituency. Take this from Dr Jude: “A chartered accountant, distinguished entrepreneur, manager of human and material resources, Austin will bring quality representation to the people of Ebonyi South. He is a colossus in the political firmament whose numerous conquests on the field will be a huge advantage.

“As a consummate, dogged fighter and result-oriented political titan, he was unanimously elected in 2016 as the National Vice Chairman of PDP, South – East Zone. This position ultimately, shot him into national political limelight. His political savvy, sagacity and astuteness, earned him the chieftaincy titles of ‘Ochiagha’ and ‘Anyanwu Ndi Igbo’.

“As man of power, influence and affluence, Chief Austin Umahi is humility personified. He helps the poor and he is voice for the voiceless, and the silent majority. His philanthropy is uncommon, just as his statesmanship is unequalled.

“It was like pay back time for Chief Umahi, when he declared for Ebonyi South Senatorial position. That declaration was short-lived, as he later relinquished the Senatorial position to the former governor of the state. It was a tough call but as a loyal party man, party position or decision is supreme and sacrosanct.

“Having paid his dues as it were, he deserves to represent Ebonyi South now. So, I align with those canvassing similar opinion and do hope that Chief Umahi will, without delay or hesitation, hearken to the voice of the people, because, ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”

Mr Festus said that Austin deserves to be considered “given his clear, emphatic and unassailable contributions and sacrifices to the many positive outcomes in the era.” He described him as “an embodiment of academic brilliance, organisational skills and result-oriented administrative acumen, who leads with dedication, from the front and inspires others to achieve greatness.”

Many are saying that it will be a huge moral burden on the APC not to reward a loyal, committed, respectful and hardworking party man after his overwhelming sacrifices for the party and the state. A group said: “Since it is the same man who surrendered the same ticket out of respect and in obedience to the party, justice demands that the ticket should be returned to him considering that he is driven by an uncommon passion and zeal for the betterment of the people.”

For Prince Nwaogaranya Onwu, it’s a matter of equity. According to him, Ohaozara is the only local government area in the zone, which never had an elected representative in the National Assembly for a very long time. He, therefore, argued that it is the turn of Uburu and Austin is the people’s choice. He also noted that APC started and flourished in Ohaozara before extending to other parts of the state.

Onwu said: “Please, our slot still remains for Ohaozara LGA and Chief Austin Umahi is the one the position fits.”
Onwu urged the people to give DAU total support.

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