The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday assured the people of the South East geopolitical zone of national integration under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Chairman of the party’s national caretaker committee and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, gave the assurance in Ebonyi State when he presented the APC flag, broom and the party membership cards to the state governor, David Umahi and his supporters, symbolising their official defection to the governing party.
Speaking during the ceremony at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki, Buni said the official admission of Governor Umahi into the party marked a new beginning in the history of Ebonyi State.
He said President Buhari since assumption of office did not put into consideration political affiliations in his administration, adding that when over 27 states could not pay salaries, the president gave bailout funds to all the states without considering party affiliations.
He stated that apart from the bailout funds and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme which many states had benefitted from, Ebonyi State and the South East in general would be fully integrated into the national programme and policies of the present administration.
He commended Umahi for being courageous and bold which, according to him, would liberate the South-East despite attacks and criticisms from some quarters.
He urged other South East governors to emulate Umahi by joining the APC, adding that his achievements stand him out.
Earlier, Governor Umahi said with his defection completed, Ebonyi was 99.9% APC, pointing out that soon, all the PDP National Assembly members from the state would join the APC.
He noted that Ebonyi State had remained in one political party for a very long time and there was the need for them to move.
The governor said, “We had remained in the PDP for a very long time with all the empty promises, so I think it’s high time we move.
“Today, Ebonyi State is 99.9% APC, the remaining 1% are the National Assembly members and some of our elders. I know too well that all of them will soon join us in the APC because in Ebonyi State, there is no opposition.
“I know what the National Assembly members are looking for and the moment they get it, they will join us in the APC. I want to assure all that this new house built on equity and trust will accommodate all.
“Party should not divide us; I believe that together we will be stronger. So there is no need for anyone to be aggrieved. It’s high time the South-East moved to the APC in totality. We are tired of the PDP and their empty promises”.
The governor reminded his supporters that no individual can determine the destiny of anyone without God, adding that “we have gotten our freedom now, freedom from one person deciding the faith of millions of people as seen in the PDP.
“I want to assure all that everyone would be carried along. No one would be discriminated against. We are going to work as a family to achieve our common goals and aspirations”, he noted.
He commended President Buhari for all the support and encouragement so far given to the state, adding that the support was the testimony of the transformation being witnessed in the state.
“We must thank the leadership of the APC for giving us the opportunity to be part of the transformation in the country. The South-East must get it right now,” he added.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice Abubakar Malami; the governors of Kebbi, Niger, Jigawa and other APC national leaders from the South-East region.
More Governors, Legislators From South-East Will Soon Join APC—Nwoye
Also, the Enugu State chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dr Ben Nwoye, yesterday said more governors and legislators from the South-East would soon join the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Progressive Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nwoye, who spoke at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu en route Abakiliki, commended Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, for joining the APC.
The APC stalwart who was reacting to Umahi’s recent defection to the APC said the decision was wise and described ongoing development projects in the state as the character of the APC in infrastructure development.
The Enugu APC chairman noted that Umahi attributed his defection to the historically induced marginalization by the PDP, and expressed optimism that his movement would connect the South-East to the national political grid.
He said, “Governor Umahi has made a wise decision. When you look at the development of his state, from the four corners and the center, what you see there is the character of the APC in infrastructure development.
“So, moving away from the PDP to the APC is natural. Like he said, the PDP has marginalized the South-East in the course of time. What we are seeking is regional integration, so, he has identified the source of the marginalization as being historically PDP-induced.
“In order to move forward to connect the South-East to the national grid, he has made a decision that is highly selfless, a decision that has now turned out to become the biggest political earthquake in modern political history of the South-East.
“The vibration of that earthquake, I believe, will keep shaking, and the aftermath will affect the political equation in all the five states of the South-East and it will also go beyond. Now we have two governors and we believe that many more governors of PDP and legislators in the South-East are also on their way to join the APC,” he stated.
He advised those who had written the South-East off in the APC to have a rethink and look at the region seriously.
On his visit to Abuja, Nwoye said they were there to discuss ways of strengthening the party, adding that he presented the forthcoming Isi-Uzo State Constituency election in Enugu State for consideration of the national body.
Buni Defends APC Registration, Revalidation
Meanwhile, chairman, caretaker/extraordinary national convention planning committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, has defended the recent revalidation and registration exercise of the party’s membership, saying it was with the knowledge of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Noting that the president had been adequately briefed on the exercise, Buni said the membership register does not reflect the current membership status of the party, hence the necessity of the exercise.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, he warned that failure of the committee to actualise the mandate of reconciling stakeholders within the party could jeopardise the chances of the party and its capacity to compete in the national political landscape.
Buni said, “In our interactions with stakeholders across the country, the need to update and standardise our membership registration has become a recurring decimal. For obvious reasons, we are not surprised that many stakeholders are of the view that the inability of our party to put in place a working structure for continuous membership register updates and new membership drive is a major factor in some of the conflicts that have caused our party major losses in multiple states and in a number of elections.
“Since the 2014 post-merger membership registration and the inconclusive registration updates of 2017, our party has not been able to produce a comprehensive membership register. During the last five years since our party emerged as the governing party, we have lost members due to either death or defection. We have also received many new members into our party.
“In all cases, our membership register does not currently reflect these changes. This laxity and the challenging consequences have brought into focus the imperative for our party to immediately embark on this exercise.
“Towards achieving this, we have engaged with our party leaders across the country. We have briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the imperative for this exercise as a major pillar for sustainable political harmony and a precursor to developing the capacity to continue to deliver political victories for our party for many years to come.
“It is on this note that our committee is now embarking on a nationwide membership registration and revalidation of the current membership register. We are soon to roll out massive publicity and stakeholders’ engagement processes to mobilise our members nationwide to ensure full participation and a successful outcome”.