HURIWA, the Nigerian Human Rights Writers Association, has urged Nigerians against backing Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi in his bid to become the country’s next president.
BEST NEWS NETWORK reports that Umahi, who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), announced his ambition to compete for president in the 2023 general elections.
After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock Villa on Tuesday, the governor made his intentions clear while fielding questions from State House Correspondents.
He said, “I told Mr President, that without prejudice to whatever will be the decision of the party, which we shall abide by, that if the party throws the ticket open or zoned to southern part of Nigeria that I believe that with what I have put in place in the past six years plus, that I’ll be running for presidency, on the platform of APC.
“So, I told him and of course, he believes that whoever wants to run for president of this country must have to consult widely, go to all the leaders and that we must do everything to remove ethnicity and religion in our politics. So that this country can grow.”
However, National coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko on Wednesday, expressed fear of dictatorship, saying Umahi has no regards for press freedom.
According to HURIWA, Dave Umahi had ordered the arrest of many journalists in Ebonyi State, urging media houses to ensure that the governor’s presidential ambition crashed.
He said, “HURIWA does not support the aspiration of Governor Dave Umahi to be President because he has terrible antecedents as a dictator and someone who is absolutely intolerant of free press.
“He is perhaps one governor in this dispensation that has ordered the arrests of more journalists than all the past military dictators put together.
“The media in Nigeria should take it as a duty to ensure that Umahi does not become Nigerian President because if he achieves that, then it’s bye bye to the media industry. Umahi will rule Nigeria like the North Korean dictator. Is that what we want? No”.