By Dirisu Yakubu
Following report of imminent defection of Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the main opposition party has refused to confirm or deny the report.
Governor Umahi according to report has made up his mind to cross over to the APC which he believes will micro-zone the 2023 Presidency to the South-East geo-political zone, with the PDP set to keep faith with the North as it did in 2019.
He was said to have met with the party leadership led by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus at the Ebonyi Governor’s lodge, Abuja, where he told them his intent to seek pasture anew.
An official of the PDP who does not want his name in print confirmed to Vanguard that indeed, a meeting between Umahi and the National Working Committee of the party held, adding however that the PDP “will not make an official statement on the issue for now.”
Asked if he was aware of Umahi’s readiness to leave the PDP, the source responded in the affirmative stressing that “the party is handling the matter internally.”
He continued: “It is a private matter which is why not much is in the public domain for now. I am neither authorized to speak on behalf of our chairman, Uche Secondus nor for our great party. What I can tell you is that Umahi’s plan to leave for the APC has a lot to do with the politics of 2023. You know that the South-East has been agitating for a shot at the Presidency in the next election cycle. If the APC has given them a commitment, that can be a factor but our leaders are still talking to him. Nothing is certain yet.”
Although he agreed with our correspondent that politics is a game of interest, the PDP official insisted that the party will not be forced into taking a decision just to assuage “the appetite of a fellow who has forgotten in a hurry where he is coming from.”
According to him, “Ours is a party of rules, agreements and consultations. The party is yet to discuss 2023 Presidency but when it does, its position will remain sacrosanct. If for instance, we decide to allow the North to have a shot at it again in 2023, we shall stick with that. I can assure you that national interest will determine where we will go again and not the insatiate appetite of a fellow who has forgotten in a hurry where he is coming from. The PDP is bigger than any single individual, living or dead.”
He called on the governor to address a press conference and tell the world why he is convinced that where he is heading would improve his lot and “that of his people in the next political epoch. If a party that promised to run Boko Haram aground in three months and failed is the same you are now putting your trust on, best of luck.
“He has been many things here including deputy governor and governor on PDP platform. If suddenly the PDP is no longer a party of choice, one can only wish him the best of luck,” he added.