Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus of the National Assembly from Ebonyi State have disowned the State Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi, who on Tuesday, announced his long-rumoured defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Umahi claimed that his defection was a reaction to the ill treatment which he alleged, has been meted out to the South Eastern part of the country by his ersthwhile party, the PDP.
But at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday (today), the leader of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus in Nigeria’s National Assembly and former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, dissociated the Ebony PDP Caucus in the National Assembly from Umahi’s decampment. Egwu who read the position of his colleagues at a press conference in Abuja, said none of the lawmakers will join with Umahi to defect to the APC.
The Caucus described the Governor’s action as insensitive, unacceptable and selfish, adding that the reasons given by Umahi for his action were not cogent.
Senator Egwu who noted that though the caucus strongly holds that the Presidency should be zoned to the Southeast region in 2023, pointed out that the political parties should not be heckled to do so.
The full statement read:
“We wish to address our fellow PDP members and other well-meaning Nigerians on the defection of the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi from the PDP to the APC.
For the sake of clarity we wish to state categorically that no single member of the PDP caucus at the National Assembly is defecting to the APC.
“The three Senators and five House of Representatives members remain proud card carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the platform under which we contested and won elections in 2019.
“The major reason given by Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in public domain which is that the PDP has not been fair to the people of the Southeast and the issue of zoning the Presidency and Vice-Presidency.
“While we support that it is then turn of the Southeast to fly the Presidential flag of any of the Presidential flag of the major political parties come 2023 , yet we consider it “inpolitic”, “indecent” and “unwise” to give ultimatums and conditionalities in a bid to secure zoning. “Indeed, if there is any person who should remain eternally grateful to the PDP, that individual ought to be the Governor “David Umahi” a man who was appointed the state Chairman of the PDP, made deputy Governor of the PDP administration and was elected for two terms under the banner of the PDP as Governor, he’s younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP, one Austin Umahi as the Southeast Zonal Chairman of the PDP and another Mr. Maxwell Umahi as the deputy state Chairman of the PDP .
“As democrats we concede Chief Umahi’s rights to join any political association of his choice, However as Federal Lawmakers, we are not unaware of the Supreme Court decision that candidates are products of their political parties. What it means is that political office holders are not at liberty to migrate from one political platform to another, especially when there is no division in their party.
“We wish to use this opportunity to thank the leadership of our great party, the PDP for their prompt action in dissolving the wards, local Government, State and Zonal structures of the party in Ebonyi State and the announcement of state caretaker team. We also wish to the teaming members and supporters in our various constituencies who have remained undaunted to be committed to their membership of the PDP we also wish to thank the Southeast caucus and indeed the entire PDP family of the National Assembly, we thank you all and may God bless Ebonyi State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”