Francis Nwaze, the media aide to the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, has dismissed claims that the governor has dropped his 2023 presidential ambition.
Mr Umahi had declared his intention to contest for president in 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in January, this year.
He made his intention public shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
His declaration came just a day after a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, revealed his plan to run for the office on the ticket of the APC.
Mr Umahi, in an interview with State House correspondents, said he had told the president about his ambition to contest for the seat if the party zones the ticket to the Southern region.
On Tuesday, reports in the local media claimed the governor had pulled out of the 2023 presidential race and, instead, declared his intention to run for Ebonyi South Senatorial seat in the forthcoming general elections.
But, when contacted, Mr Nwaze, Gov nor government media aide, told PREMIUM TIMES that the governor never pulled out of the presidential race.
Tththehe governor’s spokesperson described the report as a “propaganda” sponsored by Mr Umahi’s political enemies.
“Governor Umahi is very much in the (presidential) race. It (the report) is mere propaganda and it is being sponsored,” Mr Nwaze told PREMIUM TIMES, Tuesday night.
The spokesperson expressed confidence that Mr Umahi would emerge victorious in the APC primaries to become the party’s flag bearer in the 2023 presidential election.
Umahi’s legal battles
Mr Umahi, aside from the latest rumour of dropping his presidential ambition, has been in a legal battle to remain in power as governor following a court judgment sacking his administration.
The Federal High Court in Abuja had, last month, sacked Mr Umahi, the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, along with 16 lawmakers in the state over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
The judge, Inyang Ekwo, ruled that by defecting from the party on which they were sponsored and elected, they had resigned or deemed to have resigned from office.
However, in a different judgement, the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, earlier this month, struck out a suit seeking the sack of the governor and his deputy from office. were
The suit was instituted by the candidate of the APC in the 2019 governorship election, Sonni Ogbuoji, and his deputy, Justin Mbam, who had challenged the defection of the governed from the PDP to the APC.
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