As controversies continue to trail the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, strong indications have emerged that the Governor has concluded plans to handover power to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, come 2023, Page 36 exclusively gathered.
Page 36 could vividly recall, that Governor Umahi had last year, said that he will not allow an older Politician to succeed him in 2023.
The 55-year old South-East Governor, stated that his successor will never be older than him, as there are several benefits of having a young and vibrant person as Governor.
His words: “I will not support anyone that is older than me for Governor come, 2023.
“We need someone that is energetic and ready to lead with every commitment.”
A top source who confided in Page 36, said that the Speaker is Governor Umahi’s anointed successor for 2023.
Hon. Nwifuru, aged 45, is currently the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly; he was a one-time Executive member of the Ebonyi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Hon. Nwifuru, a third time Lawmaker, defected to the APC along alongside Governor David Umahi.
The top source who spoke with Page 36’s Correspondent, said that apart from Nwifuru, there are 4 others who are gunning for the number 1 position in the State.
1. Hon. Chinedu Ogah
Ogah, 44, is popularly known as Ikukuoma, He is the Member representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
2. Prof. Bernard Odoh
Odoh, 45, was a 2019 APC Governorship Aspirant. An Academician turned Politician, he was a Professor of Geophysics, at the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Akwa, until 2015, when he was appointed as the Secretary to the Ebonyi State Government, a position he held until 2018.
3. Senator Obinna Ogba
Ogba, 59, is the Senator representing Ebonyi Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. He was elected as Senator, during the 2015 general elections. Ogba served previously as the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, a position he occupied from 2000 to 2001.
4. Dr. Kelechi Igwe
Igwe, 50, is the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State. The trained Legal Practitioner turned Politician, hails from Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State; he assumed Office as the Ebonyi State Deputy Governor in May 2015.
When Page 36’s Correspondent contacted Mr. Francis Nwaze, the Media Aide to Governor Umahi, he denied the report, saying that no such thing exists.
His words: ”I do not want to dignify your question with response. 2023 is still far. The Governor is working tirelessly to bring more development to Ebonyi State, not ready to engage in petty politics.
”For the record, his Excellency has not endorsed the Speaker for 2023 Governorship. Please disregard the report emanating from your so called sources.”
All efforts to get in touch with the Office of the Speaker, Ebonyi State House Of Assembly, proved abortive.
More news later…