Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, on Tuesday, said his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is not to grab the party’s 2023 presidential ticket as being speculated in some quarters.
Speaking during a media chat with journalists at the government house, Abakaliki, he said no deal was struck on APC’s presidential ticket with him.
Umahi said: “Let me clear the air and state that I never sought the ticket of PDP presidency and I will not. Whoever said that I moved to APC because they refused to zone the ticket to me is being mischievous. Even if the PDP promises me, an individual, its presidential ticket, how can that work?
“Why am I moving to APC? Some people said I was promised this and that but I tell you, there was no such discussion.
“APC never promised me any position; they never promised South-east any position, there was no such discussion. However, I offer this movement as a protest to the injustice being done to the South-east by the PDP since 1999 till date.”
Daily Trust recalls that last month, 24 members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly issued a 7-day ultimatum to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP to zone the party’s 2023 presidential ticket to the South-east geopolitical zone.
The Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwaifuru, announced the ultimatum during a press conference attended by 20 out of the 24 lawmakers.
Umahi noted that from 1999 till date, the South-east region had continued to support the PDP yet the party has not deemed it fit to zone the presidency to the zone. He stressed that there are credible and qualified personalities in the zone that are competent to rule the country.
Umahi maintained that he is not driven by selfish reasons, rather long denial and refusal of the PDP to zone the presidency to the South-east.
He noted that he started the agitation for the South-east presidency since 2019, insisting that the zone must get it right now or else wait for another couple of years to get such an opportunity again.
Governor Umahi further noted that despite his movement to the APC, he would not castigate the PDP, stressing that he wished the PDP would consider the region and zone the presidency to the South-east for equity and fairness.
But reacting to Umahi’s defection, yesterday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party was not aware of the development.
“We have not received any notice or official statement on any of our governors defecting to the APC. So, as far as we are concerned, we are yet to receive formal information on that,” he said.