Umahi’s imminent defection to APC, News Express gathered, is not unconnected with unresolved issues between him and the PDP national leadership. It has also been linked to his desire to run for President in 2023 and his calculations that he has brighter chances of getting the ticket in APC than in PDP.
Investigations by News Express showed that a lot of defection activities are being lined up at the PA Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, where the Governor and others would officially defect to APC probably this week.
Umahi’s alleged defection from PDP to APC took the front banners of sections of the media at the weekend after the member representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, on Saturday congratulated him for finally joining APC.
He further said: “Yes, Governor Umahi’s defection to our great party, APC is a step in the right direction. We cannot afford to remain in opposition. We must join the ruling party to continue to reap the dividends of democracy.
“I am calling on other Governors in south east to toe the line of Governor Umahi and join APC. We have to be at the centre, we have to join the mainstream politics for overall development of our zone and the country in general.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has done well. Everybody should join the APC to encourage him.”
But the Governor in a press statement through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze, in Abakaliki, denied Umahi’s defection to APC.
The statement read: “My attention has been drawn to the news making the round in some quarters of the media, alleging that the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The news is a product of a figment of imagination on the part of the carriers as Governor Umahi was, is, and is still flying the flag of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“It is, however, difficult to observe how people are easily persuaded to believe in fake dummies in the name of rumours.
When also contacted for his reaction, the Ebonyi State APC Chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze, said that the party’s doors are open to welcome Governor Umahi and others to the fold.
“We will not be against him joining APC, though nothing has suggested such to me or my office and none of our national leaders has communicated us to that effect.
“We, however, want our party to grow, spread its ideology over Nigeria and make Nigerians believe that it is the party to identify with,” he said.