Initially it all started as a rumour, but unfolding events in the last two weeks has given credence to the rumour. Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state is planning to dump the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Umahi who emerged governor of Ebonyi state on the platform of the PDP 2015 and also secured a second term in 2019 is said to be eyeing the presidency, a move the party isn’t disposed to.
It was learnt that members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) were shocked that Umahi was demanding automatic zoning of PDP 2023 presidential ticket to the South-East.
According to an insider, National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus and others refused to make any commitment to the governor.
They told the Umahi that the party would resolve the zoning for the next polls after the submission of the report of the Governor Bala Mohammed Committee on the review of 2019 polls.
Some of the NWC members and leaders of PDP felt embarrassed that Umahi was hiding behind ethnic guise to feather his political nest.
“They alleged that Umahi had been romancing with APC as the case with the 2019 poll when President Muhammadu Buhari secured 25 per cent in Ebonyi State instead of the projected 2 per cent.”
Although the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, and some other concerned members of the party are worried about the likely effects of Umahi’s defection on their party, some other prominent leaders of PDP are unperturbed.
Some of them were even said to be mounting pressure on Secondus to allow the governor to leave the PDP.
Some PDP leaders are disturbed that Umahi has been holding secret sessions with the APC leadership, including the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party.
“Our leaders think he is trying to arm-twist PDP to concede, but he knows he cannot speak for the South-East. I know that PDP cannot yield to his demand for the 2023 presidential ticket for the South-East now. Ours is a party with a constitution and other rules and regulations.
A member of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Chris Usulor, has said he would not be following Governor Umahi to the APC.
Usulor (Ezza South Constituency) said in a radio interview in Enugu that although the governor’s quest for the next president to come from the Southeast is justified, it can be realised in the PDP.
He said: “Our governor called us and gave us the liberty to make our choice whether to join APC or remain in PDP. There was no compulsion. It was a decision we had to take on our own without any influence.
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