Some delegates to the South-East zonal congress of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) exchanged blows in Enugu yesterday following an altercation between Ebonyi Governor Dave Umahi and his Senior Special Assistant on Internal Security, Ali Odefa.
Though the congress was replete with fisticuffs over the attempt by Odefa to contest for national vice chairman South east zone of the party. Governor Umahi on the other hand resisted the move. He petitioned the South-East delegates after Odefa picked a nomination form for the position.
According to Governor Umahi, Odefa, who he the governor employed is yet to resign his post as a senior special assistant on internal security and hence is not qualified to vie for a post in PDP.
Delegates were shocked to learn that Umahi who withstood Odefa’s bid for the slot was actually pushing for his younger brother to take the position. Angered by this, Odefa approached the podium to defend himself. The scenario broke down to heated arguments and blows followed.
Odefa was later disqualified following Umahi’s younger brothers’ (Augustine Umahi) emergence. Odefa maintained he had resigned last month (April). He was later frisked and escorted out of the venue in the presence of National leaders of the PDP and Governors.
With Odefa’s ouster, Governor Umahi’s younger brother, Augustine, was ultimately returned unopposed as the national vice-chairman South East. The congress also elected Casmiir Ugwu as zonal secretary; Victor Asams as organizing secretary; Mary Omile, women leader; Emeka Okeke treasurer and Chidiebere Egwu youth leader.
Governor Umahi is not new to controversies. Recall that the immediate former governor of Ebonyi State, Martin Elechi was openly opposed to Umahi becoming the State Governor.
According to the former governor, “I made my point clear to him (Umahi) as early as September 2014 that I wouldn’t support him because my observation showed me that he lacked certain qualities that we hold very high and very dear in governance; the spirit of accommodation.”