Governor of Ebonyi State and chairman, South East Governors’ forum, David Umahi, said yesterday that he and his supporters will not vote along party lines in the 2019 general election. Governor Umahi is currently a governor on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“When it comes to presidency, we no dey do party,” he said, adding a bit of Pidgin-English to ensure that the common man on the street understands him.

According to him, the state would vote for a presidential candidate that would help develop the state irrespective of the person’s political affiliation. The state will not let party sentiments decide who gets their vote come 2019.

Speaking at the government house, Abakaliki, during a meeting with traditional rulers and town union presidents in the state, Mr. Umah said “It is the man that will help us to develop this state, that’s the man we will support. But for governorship, national assembly and state assembly don’t go there. Nobody will touch it. For presidency, we will negotiate, we will like the person to discuss with our traditional rulers as stakeholders.”

Ebonyi state is considered a PDP state and Umahi’s statement may indicate the party will have a lot to do if it wants to win the 2019 elections.

The governor also called on traditional rulers to organize residents for Saturday’s local government and councillorship elections, noted that the state was targeting one million voters in the election.

“As traditional rulers, we cannot tell you to vote for this party or that party but you have the responsibility to knack the gong and make it compulsory that nobody goes to market, nobody goes to farm on the election day.

“You have to go and knack the gong and you have powers and authority to do that. In the north, it is the traditional rulers that determine the course of politics and I will give you people that role. So, don’t shy away from politics for the peace of Ebonyi state.”

Mr. Umahi’s party, PDP, led the country for 16 years: 1999-2016. It is Nigeria’s largest opposition party but presently, it is factionalized. PDP is expected to be the main challenger to Nigeria’s ruling APC in the 2019 presidential elections.

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