• Life
  • Updated: January 23, 2022

Dave Umahi: Engineer Turned Governor, Now Seeking To Be Nigeria's President

The engineer and football lover, Dave Nweze Umahi is a Nigerian politician born to Elder Joseph and Deaconess Margeret Umahi. 

The 58-year-old governor of Ebonyi State was born on July 25, 1964. He hails from Uburu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi State in the Southeastern part of Nigeria and he is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Dave started his formal education and obtained his First Leaving School Certificate from Umunaga Primary School, Uburu from 1971 to 1977.

He attended Ishiagu High School in 1978 before moving to Government Secondary School, Afikpo in 1979. There, he became the library prefect and sat for his West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Dave Umahi

In 1982, Dave was admitted into Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) where he was elected a Senator representing the Faculty of Engineering in the students' parliament. He bagged his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from ESUT in 1987.

He took part in the obligatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program between 1988 and 1989 in SAIPEM SPA Benin City, Edo State. While he was serving, he worked so hard that he received a state honor courtesy of NYSC. 

Post eduction

It is no surprise that after his service year, the certified engineer started his career as an engineer at SCC Nigeria; a company that offers water engineering and construction services. He became the project engineer of the company and had the opportunity to supervise the Umuahia Water project and the Ndiegoro Aba flood control measures between 1988 and 1990.

Engineer Umahi in 1990, co-founded Norman Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited alongside Ombo Isokariari and was the company's General Manager until 1993.

He also served as the Chairman and CEO of Brass Engineering and Construction Nigeria Ltd, Osborn La Palm Royal Resort Ltd, and Focus Investment Nigeria Ltd until 2011 when he gave up the position to go into politics.

Political Ambition

Dave Umahi’s service to the public started in 2007 when he became the acting chairman of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

He became the state chairman of Ebonyi PDP from 2009 till 2011. While holding this position, he also became the Chairman of the governing board of the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba.

In 2011, he became the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State with Governor Martin Elechi as the Governor.

Governorship ambition 

Surprisingly, in 2014, Governor Elechi did not support Dave Umahi but did choose Onyebuchi Chukwu (the then Minister of Health) as his successor. Dave defeated Chukwu in the primaries and eventually emerged Governor after the gubernatorial election in April 2015, defeating eight other candidates from different political parties including the Labour Party and the All Progressives Congress.

Governor Dave Umahi

Although he was sworn in on May 29, 2015, the outcome of the election was however challenged by Labour Party’s candidate, Edward Nkwegu at the Ebonyi State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal. According to him, the election was marked by corrupt practices and irregularities. The tribunal terminated the petition based on lack of merit.

The case was appealed up to the Supreme Court but was dismissed for the same reason. The legitimacy of the election was approved by the Governorship Election Tribunal in October 2015.

Governor Umahi was re-elected for a second term as Governor on March 9, 2019, defeating APC’s Sonnie Ogbuoji. He is till date, the Governor of the state. 

After running for the position of governor twice and winning under the PDP both times, Governor Umahi on November 11, 2020, declared his intention to defect to APC and officially did so on November 17, 2020. In his words, he defected because PDP has been unfair to the southeast geopolitical zone and that the party has been hijacked by one or two individuals. 

Presidential ambition 

On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, Governor Umahi declared his intention to run for Presidency in 2023, faulting the claim he made in November 2020 to quit politics in 2023 after his governorship tenure. 

As mentioned by him, he wishes to run for president to reproduce the successes of his administration in Ebonyi State at the national level.

Governor Umahi’s successes in Ebonyi State spans across agriculture, education, health and welfare.

Traditional titles

The Ebonyi Traditional Rulers’ Council in 2017 conferred Umahi with the Eze Chinyere 1 of Ebonyi State title.

In 2018, the Uburu Kingdom in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State bestowed three chieftaincy titles on the governor.

Chief Umahi

He was titled Okenwa Uburu, Onyiba Uburu and the Adu 1 of Adu. He was said to be given these titles as a result of his various achievements in Ebonyi State.

Personal life

Dave Umahi is a devout Christian, married to Rachael Umahi and their union is blessed with five children.

Dave Umahi and family

He is also a brother to Austin Umahi, the National Chairman of Southeast PDP.

He is the founder of David Umahi Faith Foundation and has an estimated net worth of $5 million with houses and cars including a bulletproof Cadillac Escalade SUV.

He has been referred to as a celebrity influencer due to his regular presence on social media.

Compiled by Deborah Oyewole.

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Bolanle Akinlade
Bolanle Akinlade

I am a diligent, innovative, and detail-oriented individual, who thrives in dynamic environments.

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