Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi’s quest to be All Progressive Congress presidential candidate in 2023 and not alleged injustice meted to the South East by the Peoples Democratic Party was responsible for his defection, according to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Wike said committed members of the PDP were not surprised that Governor Umahi on Tuesday formally defected to the APC–a party he has fraternised with for sometimes.
Governor Wike said he would not have been perturbed by Umahi’s decision to defect to the APC, but felt offended by his attempt to justify his decision on the purported injustice meted to the South East by the PDP.
The Rivers State governor accused Umahi of being unfair to the PDP which gave him governorship ticket in 2015 against all odds, and repeated same feat in 2019.
He noted that while Umahi had the right to move to the APC, his attempt to blackmail the PDP and paint it in a bad light was mischievous and unacceptable.
“My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you. You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be president of Nigeria. But, that does not mean, that because you want to blackmail your party, and tell lies to the people you are leaving the party because of the injustice meted against the South East, that is not correct, ” he stated.
Governor Wike, who demanded that Umahi should retract the statement that the PDP has not been fair to the South East, argued that under the PDP, the South East had produced Senate Presidents, National Vice Chairman of PDP and Secretary to the Federal Government.
He said it was erroneous for Umahi to accuse PDP of injustice, when he had unilaterally imposed his younger brother as South East Zonal Vice Chairman of the PDP.
“In life, power is sweet, but conscience is important. It is most offensive and insulting for a man to lie against his party because of power,” he said.
The governor said though APC has not yet told Nigerians where it will zone it’s presidential ticket, Umahi’s alleged presumptuous move might be too hasty and may ruin him politically.
According to him, if the APC decides to zone it’s presidential ticket to the South East, “what is the guarantee that Umahi will secure the ticket.
“My reaction to Govenor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to South East that is insulting to the South East.”
The governor urged the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee of the PDP to take decisive steps to ensure that PDP does not die in Ebonyi State.