National Lawmakers from Ebonyi state have announced their decision to remain in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ditching the state governor David Umahi who had recently defected to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
The move by the lawmakers was announced at a press conference on Wednesday consisting of five House of Representatives members and three senators.
Announcing resolutions reached on behalf of the caucus, Senator Sam Egwu, a former governor of Ebonyi state, said they remain proud card-carrying members of the PDP, the platform on which we were elected.
According to Egwu, while they support claims that it’s the turn of the South-East to produce the next president, they consider it unwise to give ultimatum and conditionality to the PDP.
They further stated that Mr Umahi should be grateful to the PDP because the party had given him an opportunity to serve in different capacities.
“The major reason given by Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in the public domain which is that the PDP has not been fair to the People of the South-East on the issue of zoning 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 impolitic, indecent, and unwise to give ultimatums and conditionalities 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 Governor David Umahi.
“This is a man who was appointed the Ebonyi State Chairman of the PDP, made deputy governor of a PDP administration, and was elected for two terms under the banner of the PDP.
“As Governor, his two younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP; one (Mr Austine Umahi) as the National Vice Chairman (South East) and another (Mr. Maxwell Umahi) as the Deputy State Chairman of the PDP.
“As democrats, we concede Umahi’s right to join any political association of his choice.
“However, as federal lawmakers, we are not unaware of the Supreme Court decision that candidates are products of 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.
“We wish to use this opportunity to thank the leadership of our great party, the PDP for their prompt action in dissolving the ward, local government, state and Zonal structures of the party in Ebonyi State, and their announcement of a state caretaker team.
“We also wish to thank teeming members and supporters in our various constituencies who have remained undaunted and committed to their membership of the PDP.
“We also wish to thank the South-East caucus, and indeed the entire PDP family of the National Assembly,” he added.
By Abel Ejikeme