Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, southeast Nigeria, has given reasons for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Adaimo News had reported earlier that the Ebonyi Governor announced his defection from PDP to PDP while addressing journalists in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital on Tuesday, November 17.
Governor Umahi said he moved to the ruling APC because of injustice meted out to the Southeast by his former political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Ebonyi Governor clarified that he has no deal with the APC or any member of the party with regards to the zoning of the presidential position to the southeast in 2023 as touted in some quarters.
Governor Umahi who said he would be retiring from politics in 2023, demanded that the next President of Nigeria should come from the South East region, adding that having been a successful governor for two tenures and a successful businessman, he would return to business where he also has calling.
The governor said the South East has remained faithful to PDP, voted for its candidates, yet had not been considered fairly in the Nigerian polity, adding that if an Igbo man is the President of Nigeria, he would naturally be protective of all sections of the country more so, because the Igbo have a stake in all parts of Nigeria.
Giving reasons for defecting to the APC from PDP, Umahi said: “I want to clear the air that I didn’t ask for PDP presidential ticket and I will not. So, anybody saying that I have gone to the APC because PDP didn’t zone the PDP presidential ticket to me is being mischievous because number one is that even if PDP promises an individual a presidential ticket, how does it work when over 8,000 delegates will be electing the persons and such promise cannot happen with more than ten or twenty people? So, people are being very mischievous about that.
“Some people said I was promised this and that before joining APC, there was no such discussion. APC never promised me any position, they never promised southeast any position, and there was no such discussion.
“However, I offered this movement as a protest to injustice being done to the southeast by PDP. Since 1998, the southeast people have supported PDP in all elections; at a time the five states in southeast were all PDP. One of the founding members of PDP is from south, His Excellency Dr. Alex Ekwueme east; the late former Vice President. And so, it is absurd that since 1998 going to 2023 that southeast will never be considered to run for presidency under the ticket of the PDP, is very absurd and this is my position and it will continue to be my position, it has nothing to do with me.
“The point is very simple. In 2023, I would have been in PDP between 23 and 24 years, and southeast never really supported APC the way they are supporting PDP and in that 2023, they would have been 8 years in office but it would have been about 23 years going. So, I believe strongly that the will of God will come to play but I believe that APC is amenable to working with southeast from all indication, it’s amenable and I also believe that until justice and equity is implanted in this nation Nigeria, it is difficult for Nigeria to make progress,” he opined.