By Saminu Ibrahim
Ebonyi Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus at the National Assembly on Wednesday distanced themselves from the defection of Governor Dave Umahi from the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmakers emphasised that Governor Umahi is on his own as far as his defection is concerned.
It would be recalled that governor Umahi on Tuesday officially defected from PDP to APC on alleged unfair treatment meted to the people of South East by the party over the years despite their support for the party.
Apparently in a reaction to the Governor’s action, federal lawmakers of Ebonyi on the platform of PDP, comprising of three Senators and five Honourable members of the House of Representatives, berated the Governor over the action.
According to a joint press statement signed by the eight members of the caucus and read to newsmen by its leader, Senator Sam Egwu ( Ebonyi North ), Governor Umahi, accused the Governor of being impolitic, indecent and unwise with the decision.
Specifically, the lawmakers, said if there is any Ebonyi person who should remain eternally grateful to PDP, it should be Governor Umahi and not any other person going by what he and two of his brothers have benefitted from the party.
The statement read in part:
“For the sake of clarity we wish to state that not a single member of the Ebonyi PDP caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to the 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.
“The major reason given by Chief Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in the public domain which has the PDP has not been fair to the people of South East on the issue of zoning for the presidency and vice presidency.
“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 impolitique, indecent and unwise to give ultimatum and conditionality in a bid to secure zoning.
“Indeed, 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.
“His younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP– One Mr. Austin Umahi at the South East zonal chairman of the PDP and another Mr. Maxwell Umahi as the Deputy state chairman of PDP.
“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”.