Governor Dave Umahi has once again reacted to the attacks coming his way due to his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
The Progressives Governor noted that his defection to the ruling party gives the South-East a better relationship with the Federal, hence the region the region can no longer be taken for granted.
Umahi who released a statement through his spokesman, Francis Nwaze, noted that the neglect of the SouthEast region has taken an alarming proportion.
He pointed to the sacrifices made by former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, and other notable South east leaders for the formation of PDP, he insisted that remaining in PDP would continue to deny the region its rightful place in the nation’s scheme of things.
Parts of the statement read, “Politicians who feel disillusioned, cheated or denied free and fair opportunities, defect to other parties to participate in the elections or benefit from certain prospects. One of the issues that have contributed to party defections in Nigeria is lack of internal democracy within political parties.
In Nigeria, recognition of candidates for nomination and selection for primary elections depends on the strength of the candidate in the area of economic and political power, without any due consideration of the integrity and capability/capacity of the candidate involved and regional spread. These acts have led to political crises leading to individuals defecting to other parties and/or forming new parties as a result of dissatisfaction with party operation. For instance, the unhealthy power contest and intra-party crisis prompted incessant defections of prominent members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) between 2013-2015 to the now ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).”
“As a result of the above scenario, it is important to note that party defections in Nigeria are not restricted to one party, but has become a political norm in Nigeria’s democracy; sometimes in protest of bad governance and marginalization. The above circumstance is certainly not unconnected to what led to the recent defection of the Chairman of Southeast Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State Engineer David Nweze Umahi from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress.”
“The reason for the bold step was due to the age-long neglect of the South East Zone by the PDP although one of its foremost founding members His Excellency, the former Vice-President of Nigeria Dr. Alex Ekwueme was from the Zone. Because of the integrity of Dr. Ekwueme, the Igbos of the South East Zone embraced wholly the PDP and rallied around it since the return to Democracy in 1999 but despite supporting other regions to take their shots to the number one plum job in the Federation, the Zone has always been relegated to the background when it comes to consideration for the presidential slot.”
“The proceeds of this noble action, therefore, will not just be gargantuan but also bountiful considering that no major decision of national interest will be taken under any pretext without due consultation and representation of South-East Leaders in the country. This will be more so if other States of the Zone could see beyond the immediate and take action to ensure comprehensive rebrand and reintegration of the South East Zone to its pride of place in the governance of Nigeria”.