Umahi’s reason for defection untenable – Ebonyi lawmakers

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Lawmakers representing Ebonyi State in the National Assembly on Wednesday berated Governor Dave Umahi over his misleading information on the main reason for his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The federal lawmakers under the aegis of National Assembly Caucus unanimously denounced Governor Umahi’s defection to APC, resisting pressures on them to dump PDP for APC.
Chairman of the Ebonyi National Assembly caucus, Senator Sam Egwu, a former Governor of Ebonyi State, at a press conference in Abuja, while acknowledging that Umahi has the right to join any political party of his choice, stated that the major reason he gave for his defection were untenable. The former Ebonyi Governor declared that the federal lawmakers representing Ebonyi State in the National Assembly will not decamp from PDP to follow Umahi. Sam Egwu scolded Governor Umahi for defecting from PDP after the party elevated him to exalted political offices.

Egwu at the press conference in Abuja read a statement signed by Senator Sam Ominyi Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba, Senator Mike Ama Nnachi, Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga, Hon. Igariwey Iduma Enwo, Hon. Chukwuma Nwazunku, Hon. Edwin Anayo and Hon. Livinus Makwe, the briefing was attended by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing Abia South.
Egwu declared: “We, the undersigned members of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly, 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 that not a single member of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to the APC

“The three Distinguished 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 Chief Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in the Public domain which is that the PDP has not been fair to the People of the South East on the issue of zoning the Presidency and vice Presidency.

“While we support that it is the turn of the South East to fly the Presidential flag of any of the major political parties come 2023, yet, we consider it impolitic, indecent and unwise to give ultimatums and conditionalities in a bid to secure zoning.

“Indeed, if there is any Ebonyi person who should remain eternally grateful to the PDP, that individual ought to be Governor David Umahi; a man who was appointed the Ebonyi State Chairman of the PDP, made deputy governor of a PDP administration, and was elected for two terms under the banner of the PDP.

“As Governor, his two younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP; one, Mr. Austine Umahi, as the National Vice Chairman, South East, and another, Mr. Maxwell Umahi, as the Deputy State Chairman of the PDP.

“As democrats, we concede Chief Umahi’s right 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 political parties.

“What it means is that political office holders are not at liberty to migrate from one political platform to another, particularly, 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 ward, local government, state and zonal structures of the party in Ebonyi State, and their announcement of a state caretaker team.

“We also wish to thank the teeming members and supporters in our various constituencies who have remained undaunted and committed to their membership of the PDP.

“We also wish to thank the South East caucus, and indeed, the entire PDP family of the National Assembly.

“The lawmakers were joined at the press conference by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Abia South.”

Several other PDP stakeholders also berated Governor Umahi for misinformation on his defection to APC.