The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Barr Uchenna Orji, has described as false, malicious and mischief, allegation that the state governor, Chief David Umahi, has stepped down from the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential race.
In a statement personal signed by Orji and made available to LEADERSHIP, he debunked the allegation, stating that the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, only returned the consultation visit extended to him (Lawan) by Governor Umahi.
It would be recalled that the purported withdrawal of Governor Umahi from the race for APC presidential ticket was aired on Arise News, a popular television station in the country, on Saturday evening.
But the Commissioner on behalf of the David Umahi Campaign Organisation described the report as fake news.
He urged members of the public to disregard the fake news, describing it as a cheap blackmail and absolute falsehood by desperate politicians who are apprehensive of the acceptable political profile of the governor whose track records have endeared him to heart of the APC leadership.
”We urge Arise TV to immediately purge itself of this wanting behaviour by stating the obvious that Governor David Nweze Umahi, APC Presidential Aspirant never stepped down.
“The Senate President only returned a consultation visit previously accorded to him by Governor Umahi and that both of them pledged to support each other in event of any of them emerging as the Presidential Candidate of APC,” he said.
Similarly, a Special Assistant to Governor Umahi, Mr. Francis Nweze, also described the report as totally false in context and content.
“This raises a question mark about the credibility of the source of such fallacy, what never took place which is capable of putting Governor Umahi’s aspiration in jeopardy,” Nweze said.
He said the Senate President’s visit was a last-ditch effort to ramp up partnership ahead of the APC presidential primary.
Nweze reiterated that Umahi and Lawan promised to support whoever amongst the two and other aspirants that emerge as the standars bearer of the party.
“The Senate President even took out time to eulogize Engineer Umahi for making the party proud through his purposeful governance in Ebonyi State.
“There was no time during the visit that the issue of stepping down by either Governor Umahi or the Senate President was discussed or even suggested,” he said.
Nweze expressed serious concern how a popular Television station got itself enmeshed in such professional miscarriage of reality without verifying the authenticity or otherwise of their news source.
“The teeming supporters of Engineer Umahi across Nigeria and beyond are encouraged to disregard the ill-fated news item which is by all standards fake, and go about their solidarity on the assurance that His Excellency the Governor is still very much in the race,” he noted.
He pointed out that the governor was in the race to develop Nigeria, adding that, “God willing, he will emerge in the Presidential Primary of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress.”