The Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer David Nweze Umahi clocked 58 on Sunday, July 25, 2021.
This was the first time according to available records that the Governor publicly observed his birthday since birth, and this is because the Governor does not believe in throwing up big bash and expending hard-earned resources that would change the fortunes of the less privileged just for birthday.
Governor Umahi, knowing that his 2021 birthday was fast approaching travelled to Daura in Katsina State on a sallah homage to President Muhammadu Buhari and later returned to Abuja hoping to remain there until the euphoria of his birthday passes by not until there arose the need for him to meet with Stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the State, preparatory to the commencement of the Congresses which led to his return to Abakaliki on Thursday.
Little did he know that besides the APC Stakeholders Meeting, the Floor Functionaries of Government, friends, and associates had concluded plans to give him a flamboyant birthday treat on the memorial of his day of birth.
Surprisingly and unexpectedly, Governor Umahi woke up at the early hours of Sunday to behold the galaxy of personalities led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, the Speaker, Rt. Honorable Francis Nwifuru, the 13 Council Chairmen who thronged his official residence with gifts to give him soothing birthday homage.
Soon after the early morning ambush, the Christ Embassy Church, Mile 50 Abakaliki, the Governor’s official Church took the Centre stage, dedicating the entire Service of the day to host and trill His Excellency and his friends and associates on his landmark 58 years of existence.
Even the widows of the Christ Embassy Church dolled their widow’s mite to His Excellency to appreciate him for his support to them since the inception of his administration.
As if that was not enough, Members of the State Executive Council led by the Deputy Governor as well as the Speaker organized an elaborate bash in Honour of the Governor at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki and assembled about the finest of personalities from the South East Zone as well as music and movie stars to make the get-together worthwhile.
Some of the friends and associates of Governor Umahi who were invited to the event by the Organizers without the knowledge of the Governor include, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, President General Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, member representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Honourable Chinedu Ogah, Chairman, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Abuja, Engineer Elias Mbam, Chairman EDON Nigeria Limited, a conglomerate of EDON group of Companies, Architect Edward Nkwegu, Ebonyians in Diaspora led by Uduma Okejere, Senators Anthony Agbo and Julius Ucha and a host of other friends and fans of the Governor.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu during the Party paid glowing tributes to Governor Umahi for his trailblazing achievements in Ebonyi State and wished him well in his quest to write his name in gold through purposeful governance.
“Those who expect me not to attend the birthday of Governor Umahi are short-sighted. There are only 5 states in the South East, so we cannot afford the luxury of lacing our politics with enmity and bitterness. Zones with more states can go ahead and live in hatred. Here in the South East, we are already marginalized and pressed on all sides, and so we must remain united in all agenda of protecting our struggling population even in our divergent political views and as we sing different parts in the choir of political development.
“Dave and I have been friends and brothers before we both became Governors and we will remain so, long after we leave office”
The President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozo described Governor Umahi as one of the best and brightest available in the stock of Ndigbo both in politics and out of politics.
“We are here to celebrate the birthday of one of our best and brightest, take it from me, the leadership of Engineer David Nweze Umahi as the Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum is something that has made all of us happy and we want to thank him for his efforts.
“Your Excellency, the Governor, you have demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to manage, to develop and transform your State from ordinary to extraordinary. If anybody comes around Ebonyi State and doesn’t have a different definition, he will find the meaning and definition of Transformation, Development, progression, and excellent performance.
“Governor Dave Umahi has vindicated the Igbo Spirit, the Igbo Spirit of Can do it. This is one Igbo man that has demonstrated the Igbo Spirit of turning difficulties into dividends, of turning obstacles into opportunities, your spirit is what Igbos need to succeed in Nigeria, we are here to witness the progress and demonstrate what the Igbos can, the Igbo spirit is alive here, it is creative, and it is constructive.”
For the foremost Igbo elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Governor Umahi is a worthy son of Ndigbo who deserves a pat on the back for his resilience in fending for the welfare of people of the South East Zone.
“I am here today to join Ebonyi people in giving honour to this very illustrious son, so I feel very happy, and I am grateful to all of you. First and foremost, I want to on-behalf of the elders of Igbo land to congratulate His Excellency and to say, if not for him, this Ohaneze you see today wouldn’t have been possible.”
Despite the conspiracies through which Governor Umahi was made to savour the goodies of a 58th birthday in sound Health, one thing remains sacrosanct and that is the fact that Governor is loved across the board by family members, Government functionaries, Political associates, friends and well-wishers as demonstrated in commemoration of his 58 birthday.
It goes to show that a shining light has no hiding place and that great leaders take delight in the joy of others.
This is the reason Governor Umahi choose to touch the lives of patients in some hospitals like FETHA and inmates of the Motherless Babies Home, Nsugbe street with cash interventions.
Special Assistant to the Governor
(Media and Publicity)
July 26, 2021.