Umahi’s Rise and Journey to Ministry Of Works

By Joy Omagha Idam

It is said that the golden fish has no hiding place and this is the case of Senator Engr. David Umahi, whose political career started in ernest from his election as the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2009 in Ebonyi State.

From his humble beginnings to his current position as Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, and currently the Minister of Works by Monday, August 21, 2023. Senator Umahi’s story is one of dedication, perseverance, unalloyed loyalty and a deep commitment to Public Service.

Party Leadership (2009 – 2011)

Senator Umahi’s political journey started in 2009 when he assumed the role of State Party Chairman. During this period, he demonstrated strong leadership skills and a keen understanding of party dynamics. These were evident as he converted his residence to party office in his effort to ensure that the party represents a true state outlook when compared to other states in the country.

This was not his last plan for the party, he ensured that he made the party stand out by building a party secretariat in Ebonyi State, a secretariat that is generally accepted to be the very best of its kind in the entire country.

This was history-breaking borne out of rare courage and interest in the affair of the public. His ability to connect with people from different backgrounds set the foundation for his future roles in government.

Deputy Governorship and Consolidation (2011 – 2015)

In 2011, Senator Umahi took on the responsibility of Deputy Governor, showcasing his dedication to the supporting his Principal in bringing dividends of democracy to his state and its people.

During his tenure, he worked tirelessly to enhance the lives of the citizens, focusing on key areas such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure development. His commitment to these sectors laid the groundwork for his subsequent achievements.

These were areas of interest for him as he humbly performed his duties with total respect and recognition of the hierarchy – loyalty to his boss, Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency, Chief Martin Nwancho Elechi. Even when opposition wanted him to dump his boss, he would not. He remained True to his boss, loyal, committed and dedicated to the end. According to Senator Umahi, “you can’t make a great leader if your not a good follower and if your not loyal to your Principal”.

The Reign as Governor (2015 – 2023)

As Governor from 2015 to 2023, Senator David Umahi truly came in as a leader. His tenure was decorated with ambitious developmental projects, economic growth initiatives, and dedication to inclusivity.

Under his leadership, the state witnessed significant advancements in infrastructure, agriculture, and industrialization. His transformational approach earned him recognition both within the state and on the national stage and international arena.

Senator Umahi embarked on mega projects, started and completed them to his credit. These projects have unarguably activated a major boost in the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, brought about massive immigration to the state from within and outside Nigeria. Many said it was not possible, but Mr Infrastructure proved them wrong. The evidence are there for all to see.

He granted and attracted several federal and state jobs in thousands to Ebonyians and beyond, and provided other job opportunities for many. Indeed Mr Infrastructure raised the bar for the way a governor should provide dividends of democracy for his people. None of the other South East Governors could match him because while they were busy politicking, Senator Umahi was busy working 247.

The Engineer in him never rested he kept working and putting in more work till his last day in Office. I most times wondered where he got the strength and energy from and not once in those 8 years did we ever hear that he was sick. This is the caliber of the Man President Tinubu has placed the responsibility of Ministry of Works to and we know he will deliver.

Some of the projects include the David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences and Federal Teaching Hospital, the Ebonyi State International Shopping Mall modeled after the Dubai Mall, more than 5000 roads constructed on concrete pavement, 14 flyovers for beautification and traffic decongestion, the Chuba Okadigbo International Airport, Saint Margaret Umahi International Market, the New Government House, the Industrial cluster, the Senator Akpabio Olympic Stadium, the Church Avenue, Waste to Wealth recycling plant, just to mention a few. All of these created jobs for the people of the state to further reduce unemployment.

Senator Umahi’s legacy in Ebonyi State as Governor is said to be the first of its kind in states in Nigeria. He simply stood out. Making me proud to announce among my colleagues and at any public gatherings that I’m from Amasiri, and Proudly Ebonyi. His commitment to the total recognition of Ebonyi State in the comitty of states as against what it was before was achieved. He Put Ebonyi on the global radar attracting people from all over to the Salt of the Nation.

Ebonyi State now ranks first in so many areas, from economic, education, health, and infrastructure rankings courtesy of Senator Umahi. What some Governors could not achieve in 8 years he did in 4 years and consolidated in his second term. He made good all his campaign promises.

As Deputy Governor under Governor Martin Elechi he was 100% loyal and committed to his assigned roles. Under studying his boss and taking notes of areas he would address should he succeed him.

The story of Umahi’s rise in politics can be likened to that of the great Elder Statesman H.E. Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Senator Umahi, was a good follower who had respect for his Principal and will not join opposition to pull him down. Lessons to be learnt you can’t be a good leader without being a good follower.

As Governor, Senator Umahi won over 300 awards from national and international organizations mostly for Best performance. I don’t want to bore you with it. Some of them were from my constituency the Media.

The Nation Came Calling (2023)

Umahi’s trajectory didn’t stop at the state level. In November 2020, Senator Umahi took a bold step for the good of the entire Southeast, his love for his state, Southeast and Nigeria as a whole prompted him to make a very remarkable and rare move – as Governor, he cross carpeted from the PDP to All Progressives Party(APC).

This move generated so much applause as well as a few condemnations.
His eyes were strongly fixed on the golden stool which is to make a strong move that will send a strong message and bring lasting peace in the South East and Nigeria in general.

This move shook the table and caught the attention of former President Muhammadu Buhari, who described him as “a man with the Lion’s Heart” and a confirmation that it gladdens his heart to have a personality such as Senator Umahi in the Party. The resultant effect of that move today shows the worth of Umahi’s political move.

He understands Nigeria’s politics like a game of chase and at each occasion made the right moves.

In July 2023, he took on the role of Deputy Leader of the Senate, showcasing his ability to navigate the complexities of national politics. During this time, he continued to champion the causes he held dear, advocating for policies that would uplift the lives of all Nigerians. This roles he played not one who is s first timer, but one deeply rooted and knowledgeable of the intricacies within the National Assembly.

A New Chapter as Minister of Works (August 2023)

It’s important to point out that Senator Umahi was overwhelmingly elected to represent the people of Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He took up his job with every sense of commitment to be the eye of the people of the Southern Ebonyi State at the Senate.

However, his roles in the party quickly earned him an additional feather as a first-timer in the Senate, he was nominated and confirmed as the Deputy Leader of the Senate. As if that was not enough, Senator Umahi in recognition of his many transformational giant strides in Ebonyi State was offered the opportunity to be nominated a minister by the State Government.

This offer, he sharply turned down and continued with his Senatorial Job. The golden fish, they say has no hiding place, the President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, haven observed his antecedents found him worthy and nominated him to the Senate for screening and confirmation. So far, he has been confirmed and the portfolio of Works assigned to him by the President and currently waiting for swearing-in by Monday, August 21, 2023.

Nigeria’s Effort Towards Reducing Air Pollution
Building on his extensive experience and track record of accomplishments, this appointment is a testament to his dedication and visionary leadership. As Minister of Works, Umahi is tasked with overseeing crucial infrastructure projects that will shape the future of Nigeria’s transportation networks and contribute to its overall development.

It is safe to opine that Senator Umahi’s journey from State Party Chairman to Minister of Works is a story of unwavering commitment to public service and a deep love for his country. His rise through the ranks, from state party politics to the national stage, showcases his ability to bring about positive change and inspire those around him.

As he takes on his new role, Nigerians can look forward to continued progress under his capable leadership in the Ministry of Works. Ebonyi State’s speedy transformation will be a demo version of what is to come under Senator Umahi’s watch in the Works Ministry.

The Management and Staff of Weekender Magazine wish this illustrious son of Ebonyi State the very Best in this national assignment. Congratulations.

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *