All things being equal, Chairman South-East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi state, Chief Dave Umahi will formally dump the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).
The Governor reportedly met with some APC stakeholders in his Uburu hometown, Ohaozara local government area of the state over his planned defection to the party slated for this weekend.
Sources said Umahi will formally defect to the APC this Friday which informed his decision to meet with stakeholders of the party both at the state and National level. The meeting lasted for hours.
Umahi was reported to have hinged his planned defection to the agreement with the APC that the presidential candidate of the party would be zoned to the South-east.
He claimed that PDP had been unfair to the South-east since 1999, as according to him, it has deliberately refused to zone the presidential ticket of the party to the zone.
The Governor had allegedly before the APC stakeholders meeting on Sunday, informed members of the state House of Assembly, members of the state Executive Council, the 13 local government Chairmen in the state and the 64 Development Centres Coordinators across the on his decision to dump PDP that brought him into power for the APC.
He reportedly told members of the state Executive Council that they have two options to choose one; either to follow him to the APC or resign their appointments
Following this, some members of the state Executive Council meeting resigned their appointment. One of them is a former House of Rep member and Commissioner for Intergovernmental Affairs, Chief Lazarus Ogbee and the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Rebecca Ogbuewu.
Ogbee made his own resignation open with his resignation letter posted on various social media platforms while Ogbuewu’s own was secrete.
Some members of the state House of Assembly have resolved not to follow Umahi to the APC. One of them is the member representing Ezza South constituency, Hon. Chris Usulor.
Usulor said he won’t join Governor David Umahi in his planned defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
According to him, though the governor’s agitations for the next president to come from southeast is germain and justified, such agitations can be done from the PDP and not necessarily from another party.
“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 are to take on our own without any influence.
“But the striking thing there is that the reasons he adduced is something any south easterner should put in his heart. The marginalisation of the southeast should be key in our mind.
“The zoning of the president to the southeast should be key in our heart. That is what he is agitating for, that is what all of us are agitating for,” he did.
He added: “That not withstanding, personally I took a stand that having been in PDP since 1999, I find it difficult to move to another party this time around. I think that agitation, I believe within me, will be done in PDP too,” he said.
The three term Lawmaker urged all political parties in the country to zone the 2023 presidential position to the southeast in the interest of fairness, equity and justice.
“And I strongly believe that with what is happening in Ebonyi state, the leadership of PDP at the national will think twice to zone the president to the southeast.
“Also the APC will also think twice if they have any plan to zone the position out of southeast. I
think all political parties in the country should zone that position to the southeast in the interest of fairness, justice and equity,” he said.
Usulor said no lawmaker has officially moved with the governor but the Lawmakers gave the PDP ultimatum to zone the presidency to the southeast which was not done.
“Right now nobody has moved with the governor because nobody has officially decamped from the PDP. We are all still in PDP. But we had a press conference where we gave the PDP leadership seven days ultimatum to zone the president to the southeast which they didn’t comply with.
“Like I said earlier, it is an individual decision, nobody is forcing anybody. If you feel the demands of our leader in the part is right you can join him to wherever he is going to provided he is pushing for the betterment of the Southeast.
“But if you feel you can make that change from where you are then you can remain. Right now there is no specific number of those moving out of PDP till everybody is finally gone them. We will now know those who moved and those remaining. But for me I am still in PDP,” he said.
“Naturally when there is a little crisis or division or anything that could pull a political party down what happens is that the leaders and stakeholders will come together and fashion a way of pushing the party up.
“PDP cannot die in Ebonyi state, it is very rooted in the state. It has been dominating every political position here in the state.
“Like I said earlier, I am not sure that PDP will zone the president to the southeast. Zoning has not occured but our governor, who is the leader of the party in the state, maybe what they discussed up there we are not privy to it.”
“But from my own assessment, no zoning has happened and we will keep agitating till PDP will zone the position to the southeast. PDP can never die in Ebonyi state and we will keep making that possible,” he said.
Usulor noted that so far there is no evidence or guarantee that the APC will zone the presidential position to the southeast.
“Defection is constitutional, right to freedom of association. But when you are defecting from one political party to another, you should be able to give people convincing reasons.
“From reactions, the people are asking, if we move to the APC, are they going to zone the presidency to the southeast? That has not been answered,” he said.
The lawmaker also called on leaders from the southeast to come together and push for the zoning of the position to the southeast.
“The best option is that Leaders of the southeast should push for this position to be zoned to the southeast, that is what other people in other zones do.
“I want to say with apology that our leaders failed us because they would have galvanised this things so that the rotation of the presidency will get to the southeast because right now every zone has had their turn except the southeast and that is because our leaders failed to do what was necessary to achieve this,” he concluded.
A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Senator Julius Ucha has described Governor Umahi as a great asset to APC and the people of the South East zone.
While reacting to a statement which was credited to the member representing Ijumu/Kabba -Bunu Federal Constituency in Kogi State, Hon. Teejay Yusuf wherein he said that APC was inheriting a burden of deceitfulness, dictatorial tendencies and pepertually questionable loyalty, Senator Ucha dismissed it as baseless.
The Senator expressed happiness that the defection of Governor Umahi was a great achievement for APC in the South East and Nigeria at large.
He added that with the quantum of achievements recorded by the Umahi’s administration, it was a great loss for the PDP to have toyed with him, adding that other PDP Governors will soon join Umahi to APC.
“The Lawmaker, Hon. Teejay Yusuf is just funny. How can he say that APC is inheriting their problem when the PDP has been sending delegations to help stop Umahi from joing APC. Umahi is a great asset to APC. His achievement is veritable tool of marketing and advertisement for APC.
“Obviously, because the Lawmaker has seen that the mind of the governor has already been made up to join the APC, he resorted to blackmail and vicious propaganda. So, he should weep for himself”
“I may not bore you with other things he said because he is obviously aggrieved over Umahi’s defection. So when a man is angry like the Hon. Member, he’s bound to say many things. Umahi is a compassionate leader and strong voice of Ndigbo and APC has always been proud of his contributions to national development and stability”.
Ucha, who was the pioneer Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly said that Umahi has displayed enough patriotism and Political will to salvage the interest of Ndigbo and Nigeria.
He said that the Kogi Lawmaker is ignorant of the enormous political credentials of the governor and the rate of good governance in Ebonyi State otherwise resorting to name-calling suddenly because the governor opted out of their hopeless party was cheap and ridiculous.
Consequently, the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, who last Tuesday told a delegation of the PDP NWC led by the National Chairman, Uche Secondus, that he had made up his mind to leave the PDP, is believed to have been making overtures to his Abia State counterpart, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to go with him to the APC.
Following report of imminent defection Umahi from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, the main opposition party summoned an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in a move to thwart the alleged decamping plan of the Governor.
It was gathered that the meeting has been slated for Thursday, November 19 at the National Secretariat of the party, Wadata Plaza, Abuja.
Umahi according to report has made up his mind to cross over to the APC which he believes will micro zone the 2023 Presidency to the South-East geo-political zone, with the PDP set to keep faith with the North as it did in 2019.
He was said to have met with the party leadership led by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus at the Ebonyi Governor’s lodge, Abuja, where he told them his intent to seek pasture anew.
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