David Nweze Umahi (known popularly as Dave Umahi, born January 1, 1964) is a Nigerian politician who is serving as the current Governor of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Dave Umahi Biography and education
Born January 1, 1964, Umahi is the son of Elder Joseph Umahi Nwaze and Margaret Umahi of Umunaga, Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area, now in Ebonyi State. Umahi received his secondary education from Ishiagu High School and the Government Secondary School of Afikpo before entering the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in 1982. He graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. In 1990, he co-founded Norman Engineering and Construction Nig. Limited with Ombo Isokarari and served as its general manager until 1993. Until 2011, he served as chairman and CEO of Brass Engineering & Construction Nig. Ltd., Focus Investment Nig. Ltd., and Osborn La Palm Royal Resort Ltd. He is from a home of nine comprising two females and seven males, including Major-General Obi Abel Umahi (Rtd.), Roy Umahi Nwaeze , Austin Umahi Nweze, among others
Umahi entered public service in 2007 as the acting chairman of the Ebonyi State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party. From 2009 to 2011, he served as state chairman of the party. During that term, he served a year on the governing board of the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba as its chairman.
In 2011, Umahi became deputy governor of Ebonyi State on a ticket with the-then Governor Martin Elechi. However, in 2014, Governor Elechi supported Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health, as his successor, which Umahi stated violated an understanding that he would take that role. Umahi went ahead to defeat Chukwu in the primaries. The remainder of Elechi’s term was chaotic, with arson hitting the House of Assembly in February 2015 and motions taken to impeach him later that month over alleged unconstitutional gross misconduct, misappropriation of funds and anti-party activities. Umahi was elected to the role of Governor on 12 April 2015 in an election that has been challenged by the Labour Party, All Progressives Congress and All Progressives Grand Alliance on the basis of “widespread irregularities, killings, and wanton destruction of property”. In October 2015, the legitimacy of the election was upheld by the Governorship Election Tribunal.
On the 16th day of March, 2019, David Umahi was re-elected as Governor in the Ebonyi state governorship election. He polled 393,343 votes to defeat APC’s Sonny Ogbuoji who polled 81,703 votes.
Defection to the APC
On November 11, 2020 Governor Dave Umahi declared his intention to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) and on 17 November 2020 he officially defected to the party after a long time speculation. Umahi made his declaration of joining the APC for reasons according to him, one of them being that “the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been unfair to the Southeast Geopolitical Zone” and secondly, “that it has being hijacked by one or two individuals“. He also doused the speculation against him that he joined the APC because he wanted a presidential ticket which wasn’t promised to him in the PDP by saying that he would quit politics in 2023 after leaving office as governor.
President Muhammadu Buhari also congratulated Umahi for his defection to the APC, he described it as a bold step driven by principle rather than opportunistic moves or coercion.