As expected, but citing injustice against the South-East geopolitical zone by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor David Umahi on Tuesday handed Ebonyi State lock, stock, and barrel to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but his former party says he did it for his own selfish reasons.
Recall that APC won the Imo Governor’s seat vide a controversial Supreme Court judgment nearly a year into the reign of former Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
Speculations of Umahi’s departure has been in the air for more than a year.
But Rivers State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike said, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri,said Umahi’s defection was not a surprise because he had been fraternising with the ruling party over time.
“My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you. You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be president of Nigeria.
“My reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to the South-East that is insulting to the South-East.”
He asked Umahi to withdraw his claims against the PDP, because the South-East had over the years produced Senate Presidents; National Vice Chairman of the PDP and Secretary to the Federal Government under the PDP
Said Umahi in his defection speech, “Let me clear the air and state that I never sought for the ticket of PDP Presidency and I will not. Whoever that said that I moved to APC because they refused to zone the ticket to me is being very mischievous. Because even if PDP promises me, an individual, a presidential ticket, how does it work?
“Why am I moving to APC?. Some people said I was promised this and that but I tell you, there is no such discussion. APC never promised me any position, they never promised South-East any position, there was no such discussion, however I offered this movement as a protest to the injustice being done to South-East by the PDP since 1998 till date
“…Some people say I will regret this movement, I laugh at them; as if they saw God, as if they are my God. I am satisfied being a businessman, I am satisfied doing my businesses and that is all.
“…Every man runs his destiny. One thing I have promised is that I will never castigate PDP; just like in PDP, my only sin is that I refused to castigate Mr President and till thy kingdom come, I will not do that because that is my family character.”
“But those who don’t have character, they were very suspicious of me because I don’t castigate the President, that I could be leaking information of PDP.
“What nonsense is that? I came from a known family and a place where there is character. So, I have got a character; nobody either in APC or PDP will say that whoever discusses anything, I have to go and leak it. To leak it for what? Is it for money, is it for fame?”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says that the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi, left for personal reasons, which Nigerians will come to know at the fullness of time.
In a statement, it thanked Governor Umahi for services rendered to the people of Ebonyi state, as the State Chairman of Ebonyi PDP (2003 to 2007); deputy governor of Ebonyi state (2007 to 2015) and two term governor of Ebonyi (2015 till date), all elected on the platform of the PDP.
“As we wish Governor Umahi all the best in his adventure, we call on the members of our party to remain calm and committed to the ideals of our party as no individual is bigger than the PDP,” the statement adds.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP subsequently rose from a meeting and announced the dissolution of the ward, local government and state executive committees of the Ebonyi state, seeing that Umahi left with most of the officials.
The NWC also dissolved the Southeast Zonal Caretaker Committee of the party.