By Seun Adeuyi
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Lawmakers in the National Assembly from Ebonyi State have distanced themselves from the defection of Governor David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But the lone APC House member from the state, Comrade Chinedu Ogah has reassured that all his colleagues from the state will soon defect to APC just like Governor Umahi.
Recall that on Tuesday, Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. Umahi left the party to the APC, a decision he said was a protest against the PDP on the injustice meted on the South-east, but the party said that Umahi’s decision has nothing to do with activities going on in the party but his personal decision.
Sen. Sam Egwu, senator representing Ebonyi North, while speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, said that no member of the National Assembly from the state was defecting to the APC.
Egwu who is a former governor of Ebonyi said “Not a single member of the PDP Ebonyi caucus of the national assembly is defecting to APC.
The three senators and five House of Representatives members remain proud card-carrying members of the PDP, the platform under which we contest and won elections in 2019.”
Speaking further, Egwu said, “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 south-east on the issue of zoning for the presidency and vice-presidency,” he said.
“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 impolite, indecent and unwise to give ultimatum and conditionality in a bid to secure zoning.
“If there is any Ebonyi person who should remain eternally grateful to the PDP, that individual ought to be the Governor, David Umahi, a man who was appointed the Ebonyi state chairman of the PDP, made deputy governor of the PDP administration and was elected on two terms under the banner of the PDP as governor.
“As democrats, we concede Umahi’s rights to join any association of his choice however as federal Lawmakers we are not unaware of the Supreme Court’s decision that candidates are a product of the 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.”
But contrary to Sen. Egwu’s position, Hon. Ogah who represents Ikwo/Ezza-South federal constituency in the House of Representatives expressed optimism that with time all the federal lawmakers will join the APC arguing that all the NASS members from the state all rode through the back of the governor to become lawmakers.
He said that it would be a betrayal if they did not join Umahi to his new party.
His words, “I believe that all of them will join. There is no cause for alarm for anybody to flex muscles. There is nothing to fight about, what they should be talking about is conscience. “What were they before now; would they have gone to the National Assembly without the effort of the Governor?
“I am excepting all the National Assembly members from Ebonyi state to join the Governor because he has never maltreated them. They are all beneficiaries of the good gesture of Engr. Dave Umahi, one after the other.
“They all got their tickets riding on the back of Governor Umahi, they got their second tenure on his back and what they should look at is the paramount benefit of Ebonyi state and not individual benefits.
“As a national Assembly member I will continue persuading them, let us go to APC so that we can develop Ebonyi state. All of us were elected by our people. Political party is only a vehicle that takes one to somewhere.
“What we are urging them is that as the Governor has seen, the reintegration of the Igbo as it were in the second republic is most paramount. That will reconnect us to where we are coming from to the benefit of the South Easterners.
“We will continue to persuade them that it is not a do or die affair. We can join hands together in the benefit of Ebonyi state.”