The shape of voting pattern for the 2019 general elections is already being defined in Ebonyi where the State Governor and Chairman, South East Governors’ forum, David Umahi, has said he and his supporters will not vote along party lines.
Umahi, who is a governor on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ruled out the possibility of him voting the party’s candidate come 2019.
He said the state would vote for a Presidential candidate that would help develop the it irrespective of his or her political affiliation.
According to him, the state will not play politics of sentiments in the 2019 Presidential election. Umahi spoke at the Government House, Abakaliki, during a meeting with traditional rulers and town union Presidents in the state.
“When it comes to Presidency, we no dey do party,” he 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.”
Umahi’s party, PDP, is Nigeria’s largest opposition party, although it led the country for 16 years from 1999 to 2016.
Presently embroiled in crisis, the PDP is expected to be the main challenger to the ruling APC in the 2019 Presidential elections.
The governor also called on the traditional rulers to mobilise residents for Saturday’s local government and councillorship elections, noting 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 beat the gong and make it compulsory that nobody goes to market, nobody goes to farm on the election day.
“You have to go and beat 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.”