- PDP thinks he is moving against the tide
Governor Dave Umahi’s almost concluded move to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may be a political suicide in the end, according to political pundits following the development.
Global Upfront Newspapers (GUN) gathered that all is now set for the Governor to defect, carrying some of his team in the State in a curious move driven largely by ambition.
Source close to the Governor told GUN that Governor Umahi hope for joining APC is to get what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot offer him, which is Presidential ticket of the party in 2023.
The source said that the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus’ recent statement that every zone is open to contest the Presidency in the party in 2023 does not give hope to Umahi’s dream of becoming the President of Nigeria.
GUN recalls that Umahi’s APC romance started even before the 2019 general election when the controversial Anambra billionaire and oil mogul, Prince Arthur Eze, revealed to some traditional rulers from Ebonyi State that President Muhammadu Buhari had hinted him that he was going to hand over to Governor Umahi in 2023.
Governor Umahi has severally denied anti-party accusations from PDP, including the alleged “smuggling” of 25 per cent vote to President Buhari in the 2019 Presidential election in Ebonyi State. during the election, the Governor also produced customized bags of rice as part of his contribution and honour to Buhari.
GUN learnt that his APC friends, including the President’s henchmen, have told him that he needs to crossover early enough to be able to benefit from the 2023 power game.
A dependable PDP source told GUN that the party all along has been monitoring the Governor and his romance and describes attempt to arm-twist the party as trying to eat his cake and have it.
The PDP source said that the party plays by the rule as directed from the party constitution and would not be stampeded by anybody or group driven by interest or ambition.
“The ultimatum from the Speaker of Ebonyi State to the national leadership of the party to summon an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) is not only unknown to our statue book but appears like the hand of Esau and cloth of Jacob. The rule is clear on how NEC of the party can be called.”
On the threat of leaving the party and the effect in the region, the source said the party will not be affected because the move, if it happens, would be against the tide.
“APC knows that it does not exist in South East and the voters demonstrated this clearly in the last election. In Imo State, where they are pretending to exist, we saw how a number four became a number one in the biggest electoral robbery in history, through the Supreme Court.
“In the PDP circle, everybody believes that Umahi is driven by ambition and chasing shadow in the move that will make him a victim of a political 419, if he thinks that he will be APC Presidential flagbeaer in 2023.
Sources said that Governor Umahi plans to decamp to the APC with the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Francis Nwifuru, and other 23 lawmakers.
The source said that the defection moves was perfected and sealed during Umahi’s recent visit to Abuja where he met with the APC top hierarchy and that a lot of activities are being lined up at the PA Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, where the Governor and others have perfected plans to officially defect, probably this week.
The whistle was blown on the defection plans by the member representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Chinedu Ogah, on Saturday, who said that “yes, Governor Umahi’s defection to our great party, APC is a step in the right direction. We cannot afford to remain in opposition. We must join the ruling party to continue to reap the dividends of democracy.
“I am calling on other Governors in South East to toe the line of Governor Umahi and join APC. We have to be at the centre, we have to join the mainstream politics for overall development of our zone and the country in general. President Muhammadu Buhari has done well. Everybody should join the APC to encourage him.”
But the Governor, in a Press Statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze, in Abakaliki, denied Umahi’s defection to APC, saying that “the news is a product of a figment of imagination on the part of the carriers as Governor Umahi was, is, and is still flying the flag of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is, however, difficult to observe how people are easily persuaded to believe in fake dummies in the name of rumours.
“If for any reason, Governor Umahi wishes to leave Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it will be officially communicated and can never be a product from rumour mongers,” he stated.
When also contacted for his reaction, the Ebonyi State APC Chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze, said that the party’s doors are open to welcome Governor Umahi and others to the fold.
“We will not be against him joining APC, though nothing has suggested such to me or my office and none of our national leaders has communicated us to that effect. We, however, want our party to grow, spread its ideology over Nigeria and make Nigerians believe that it is the party to identify with,” he said.