By Charles Onyekwere
As controversy continue to trail Ebonyi Governor’s defection to opposition party, strong indications have emerged that Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. David Umahi, has concluded plans to officially joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Joining the Umahi to APC include the Speaker of the Ebonyi state House of Assembly, Hon. Francis Nwifuru and other 23 Lawmakers.
DailyTimes gathered that the defection moves was perfected and sealed during Umahi’s recent visit to Abuja where he met APC hierarchy and leaders.
According to the source, Umahi’s defection to APC, Daily Times gathered that the development was not unconnected to the unresolved issues between him and the national leadership of the People’s Democratic party (PDP).
Daily Times further gathered that a lot of defection activities are being lined up at the PA Ngele Oruta Township stadium, Abakaliki where the governor and others would officially have defected to APC probably this week.
Umahi’s alleged defection from Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC) took the front banners of sections of media at the weekend.
Recall that the member representing Ezza South/Ikwo federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, had earlier on Saturday congratulated Governor Umahi for finally joining the All Progressives Congress, (APC).
Ogah who confirmed the governor’s defection to APC, said “we don’t need division in south- east, we need unity in south -east, we need to be part of the Central government. We can’t continue to be in opposition” he stated.
The lawmaker is the only National Assembly member of Ebonyi state extraction who was elected on the platform of APC and belongs to the caucus of APC in the south -east zone.
He revealed that Umahi’s defection was perfected after his meeting with critical stakeholders and leaders of APC including President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “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”, Ogah noted.
But the governor in a press statement through his special Assistant on media and publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze in Abakaliki,denied Umahi’s defection to APC.
The statement read”My attention has been drawn to the news making the round in some quarters of the media, alleging that the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“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 People Democratic Party (PDP), it will be officially communicated and can never be a product from rumour mongers” he stated.
When contacted for further reaction, the commissioner for Information and state orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji said he is somewhere and may not be chance to react to the defection.
Orji who insisted on seeing the lawmaker’s statement before reaction said: “send to me the report,let me know what they are saying, so that I can react. I am somewhere now’’ he stated.
The state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Ebonyi state chapter, Barr. Onyekachi Nwebonyi when contacted couldn’t pick calls or respond to text messages sent to him by our correspondent for reaction.
It was not clear whether the Governor and the National Assembly members of PDP from the state are joining together to APC.
When also contacted for his reaction, the Ebonyi state chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze said that the party’s doors are open to welcome Governor David 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 it’s ldeology over Nigeria and make Nigerians believe that it is the party to identify with”, he said.
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