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Buhari hails Umahi’s defection, says it’s a bold move

Wike: Another PDP gov planning to jump ship

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the defection of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has confirmed the delivery of good governance by the ruling party in the country. But, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has disclosed that another PDP governor would soon take his exit from the party to the APC.

This revelation is coming on the heels of Tuesday’s defection of Umahi to the APC, citing unsavoury treatment of the South-East by the PDP. Umahi’s defection from the PDP has reduced the number of states controlled by the party to 15, while the APC has 20 states.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has one state. The President, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, commended the Ebonyi governor for his decision, describing it “as a bold move driven purely by principle rather than opportunistic motives.”

He said: “I am proud of Governor Umahi for taking this bold decision in accordance with his conscience and principles rather than any external influence or coercion. “Good governance is very important to us in the APC, and I’m glad that the governor has cited this as a major factor in his decision to join us.

I urge our citizens to pay less emphasis on identity politics if we want our democracy to make a positive impact on our country. “With men like Umahi, I foresee a brighter future for our democracy because the voters will be more motivated by performance records of parties and their candidates. “Let me once again commend the boldness of Governor Umahi for taking this courageous decision in a country where principles are in short supply among many.

I know people might call him names, but that is the price men of principles have to pay for acting according to their conscience and convictions.” Speaking yesterday on a Channels TV programme, Politics Today, Wike, who said he won’t disclose the name and state of the governor, said the planned defection would be wrapped around some excuses. Wike alleged that Umahi has been romancing the APC while sitting as PDP governor, claiming that the Ebonyi State governor ‘allocated’ votes to President Muhammadu Buhari in his state during the 2019 presidential election. While stating that Nigerians have always allowed politicians to play on their intelligence, he carpeted Umahi, saying, “You are insulting the intelligence of the South-East people that they do not know anything.”

The Rivers governor said the PDP has not zoned its 2023 ticket to any part of the country adding, however, that what sustains any party in any state is performance and delivery of governance. Wike, who debunked Umahi’s claims that he singlehandedly selected Peter Obi as running mate of the party in the 2019 presidential election, said he is justified to have ambition in the 2023 race based on his contribution, commitment and input to the PDP. Speaking further on the 2023 presidential ticket of the PDP, the Rivers governor said his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, has not consulted him over his aspiration, stating, however, that he will consider him and support him if he shows interest and he measures him with other aspirants. “I don’t deny friendship, Governor Tambuwal is my friend and I have a right to support anyone,” he said.

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