Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday confirmed that he has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Umahi dropped the hint when he addressed Journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital after a meeting with Mai Mala Buni, Governor of Yobe state, Chairman of the APC caretaker committee, and Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo as the party stepped up moves to persuade more governors from the South-East region to join the ruling party.
There had been speculations regarding the political future of the governor, but the hazy cloud was cleared on Monday when the Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma confirmed Umahi’s decision to pitch tent with the ruling party.
Uzodinma had on Monday said APC Governors were working on some of their colleagues to get them to join the ruling party. “If you recall when I addressed you here a couple of months ago, I told you that the moment I resume office as the Imo State governor, that the impression and perception of our party in the Southeast will change and the resultant effect would be that more credible individuals and governors would even join the party.
“Today, I am being vindicated because we are hearing it and I am sure a few hours from now we will get the confirmation that one of our best will be joining the party, and he is the Governor of Ebonyi State.
“Of course, I will be very glad and it will be my joy to welcome him, not only him we are still talking to more governors to join and APC is the ruling party and in the interest of national integration, Imo and the Southeast indeed need to become part of the ruling party to make the Nigerian project a complete project”, he had stated.
The APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee led by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, had directed the party’s leaders in the South-East to reach out to more governors and National Assembly members in the region.
It was learned that among those being targeted by the APC leaders were the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu; his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; and Willy Obiano of Anambra State.
However, the PDP, Tuesday night, attributed the defection of Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi from its fold to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to personal reasons.
In a statement signed by the publicity scribe, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “Our party thanks Governor Umahi for services rendered to the people of Ebonyi state, as the State Chairman of Ebonyi PDP (2003 to 2007); deputy governor of Ebonyi state (2007 to 2015) and two-term governor of Ebonyi (2015 till date), all elected on the platform of the PDP.
“As we wish Governor Umahi all the best in his adventure, we call on the members of our party to remain calm and committed to the ideals of our party as no individual is bigger than the PDP.”