Umahi backtracks, confirms personal interest led him to APC


Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi State, has backtracked on what led him to defect to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Mr Umahi, a two term governor elected and re-elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dumped the opposition party for the ruling party earlier in the week, after months of speculations.

While defecting, the governor cited injustice meted out to the South-East geo-political zone by the PDP as his reason for defecting. His position was immediately countered by his former party and Nyesom Wike, his Rivers State counterpart.

While the opposition party said personal interest led Umahi to APC, Mr Wike alleged his Ebonyi counterpart was nursing a presidential ambition hence the defection.

But Umahi’s comment at a reception organised by Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) on Thursday to welcome him into the APC does not tally with his initial reason for defecting to the APC.

“My defection to APC was in obedience to God’s will, respect for President Muhammadu Buhari and an honour to dignitaries present as well as obedience to the wish of Ebonyi people,” the governor said yesterday.

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“Money means everything to many people but I choose wisdom from God. People asked why I was leaving PDP, but I told them that if APC would treat me nicely when I don’t have any relationship with it, what will happen when I am in its fold?

“I told them that even as large as APC is, one man does not control the party but in PDP, one man controls the party.”

He said despite their political affiliations, President Muhammadu Buhari does not treat state governors with disdain.

“As the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, I applied for N10billion for the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the president obliged without conditions,” Umahi said.

“The president never treated any governor with disdain and presently that I am in APC, there is no guarantee that I will be treated better than those already in the party as well as the PDP governors.

“We can boast of infrastructure and economic supports from the APC-led federal government, but we cannot do such for the PDP-led administration since 1999,” he added.

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Receiving him is Mai Mala Buni, APC national caretaker chairman and governor of Yobe state, who congratulated Umahi and his supporters for joining the APC fold, adding that he will enjoy all rights and privileges accorded to progressives’ governors.

Mr Buni announced his Ebonyi counterpart as the new leader of Ebonyi APC, noting that a waiver has been granted to him and his supporters.