Barely 24 hours after the controversial defection of Ebonyi state Governor, Dave Umahi to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has constituted a Caretaker committee in Ebonyi State. The committee is to pilot its affairs in the State.
The PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan disclosed this in a statement, revealing the new head as Fred Udeogu, with Barr. Luke Nkwegu as Secretary.
Part of the statement reads: “Following the dissolution of the Ebonyi State Exco of our great party, the National Working Committee (NWC) has constituted a state caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of the party in Ebonyi state in line with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP”.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said Umahi left the party for personal reasons, which Nigerians will come to know at the appropriate time.
Meanwhile, Umahi had anchored his defection to APC on PDP’s marginalization of the Southeast. He said he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the PDP had failed the people of the Southeast.
On his part, a human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, has reacted to the defection of Umahi disclosing that Umahi defected to APC to pursue his presidential ambition but President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over to a Northerner and described Umahi’s move as a joke.
“Ebonyi Gov going to APC to contest for President is not only a joke but madness taken too far, they won’t give him more than a Senatorial ticket and also hide his corruption file. Buhari will give APC ticket for 2023 to a Northerner.”
The PDP has however appreciated Umahi for services rendered to the people of Ebonyi on the platform of the party. This, according to Ologbondiyan, includes when Umahi served as the State Chairman of Ebonyi PDP (2003 to 2007); deputy governor of the state (2007 to 2015) and two-term governor of Ebonyi (2015 till date), all elected on the platform of the PDP.
Ologbondiyan as well wished Umahi the best in his adventure and called on the PDP members to remain calm and committed to the ideals of the party, saying no individual is bigger than the PDP.
Umahi who Justified his defection said: “I want to clear the air that I never sought for the PDP presidential ticket and I will not. So, whoever said that I moved to the APC because they refused to zone the ticket to me is being very mischievous.
He clarified that his defection was not premised on any deal with the APC on the contentious subject matter of presidential zoning to the region in 2023.
“Even if PDP promises somebody a presidential ticket, how does it work when over 8,000 delegates will be voting. And such a promise cannot happen with more than 10 or 20 people. So, people are being very mischievous about
“Some people say I was promised lots of things by the APC. There was no such discussion. APC never promised me any position. They never promised Southeast any position”.
Umahi added that he had no regrets defecting from the party, noting that it was based on his conviction and avowed commitment to the interest of the geo-political zone.