The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Hon. Barr. Uchenna Orji, has said that the state governor and chairman, South-East Governors Forum, Dave Umahi, left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) based on principle and not to avoid corruption investigation.
In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Barr. Orji noted that the defection of the governor from the PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was to ensure that the South-East continues to remain in the political mainstream of the country.
The state government’s spokesperson was reacting to claims by the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, that people leaving the PDP were doing so out of fear to face corruption probe.
According to him, “The defection of Governor David Umahi was on principle. South-East has been known for political mainstreaming. Pre-1960 political development and post-1960 political development have a history that South-East has always mainstreamed with the party at the center.”
He noted that Governor Umahi contested in the 2015 governorship election under the platform the party at the center and at that time the people voted him in but the PDP failed weofully at the center.
He stated that the governor as a man of principle weathered all the storms and made wonderful outing in terms of achievement and in order to demonstrate his belief in the unity of the country and his ideology as the chairman of South East Governors Forum, he decided to join the party at the center, the APC
He said that it will amount to double jeopardy for the South-East to be out of power and opposition political party at the same time.
“You can only negotiate for fair treatment, fair play in national politics, if you are at the right place. The governor believes that Ndigbo must reconnect with the party at the center which has been the ideology of South-East,” he explained.
Barr. Orji further argued that the South-East Governors Forum chairman believed in the oneness of the country, adding that APC is the party with national outlook.
“We will not do otherwise in Ebonyi State by remaining in the opposition party. That is the only way we can show that we believe in the indivisibility of the country.
“Whoever that is saying that the governor moved for the fear of corruption is very far from the truth. The man being quoted had left his party before now,” the Commissioner added.
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