By Paul Okah,
After weeks of speculations, Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, has officially defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), revealing that he would be retiring from politics in 2023.
Briefing newsmen Tuesday in Abakaliki, Umahi said that, having been a successful governor for two tenures and a successful business man, he would return to business “where he also has a calling”.
He debunked rumours that he was leaving the PDP in order to contest for the 2023 presidential election, but expressed displeasure that the PDP has not been fair to the South East “despite the region always voting for the party”.
Umahi demanded for the next President of the country to come from South East region, adding that, if an Igbo man is President, he would naturally be protective of all sections of the country, “because the Igbo have stake in all parts of Nigeria”.
He said, “I want to clear the air that I didn’t ask for PDP presidential ticket and I will not. So, anybody saying that I have gone to the APC because PDP didn’t zone the PDP presidential ticket to me is being mischievous. Number one is that, even if PDP promises an individual a presidential ticket, how does it work when over 8,000 delegates will be electing the person and such promise cannot happen with more than ten or twenty people? So, people are being very mischievous about that.
“Some people said I was promised this and that before joining APC. There was no such discussion. APC never promised me any position. They never promised South East any position and there was no such discussion.
“However, I offered this movement as a protest to injustice being done to the South East by PDP. Since 1998, the South East people have supported PDP in all elections. At a time, the five states in the South East were all PDP. One of the founding members of PDP is from the South East, the late former Vice President, His Excellency Dr. Alex Ekwueme. So, it is absurd that since 1998 going to 2023, South East will never be considered to run for presidency under the ticket of the PDP. It is very absurd and this is my position and it will continue to be my position. It has nothing to do with me.
“The point is very simple. In 2023, I would have been in PDP between 23 and 24 years and South East never really supported APC the way they are supporting PDP. In that 2023, they would have been 8 years in office, but it would have been about 23 years going. So, I believe strongly that the will of God will come to play. I believe that APC is amenable to working with South East. From all indication, it’s amenable and I also believe that until justice and equity is implanted in this nation Nigeria, it is difficult for Nigeria to make progress.”