Claims and counter-claims have continued to trail the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to the All Progressives Congress.
Umahi publicly announced his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC on Tuesday.
Following his switching sides, party loyalists and bigwigs in the PDP have condemned him, saying they won’t join him in moving to the APC.
Umahi while speaking on his defection, stated that the PDP will stop existing in Ebonyi State, sparking outrage among party leaders.
He hinged his defection on the injustice being done to South-East in the PDP, adding that the party sidelined the zone.
In a swift move, the PDP dissolved the state executive committeee and raised a caretaker committee led by Fred Udogu.
Also, lawmakers from Ebonyi vowed not to defect with Umahi.
“We, the members of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly wish to address our fellow PDP members and other well-meaning Nigerians on the defection of the governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC.
“For the sake of clarity, we wish to state that not a single member of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to the APC,” they said.
Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti, said Umahi moved for personal motive without considering the Igbo.
He stated that Umahi has long left the party but just made it official.
“Governor Umahi defected to APC long ago before this unjustifiable move, which clearly has nothing to do with the interest of the Igbo nation. This is a reflection of the type of leadership our country parades.
“Though his action dampens hope for liberation, but I’m sure Nigerians will laugh last because sometimes it will appear to have gotten so bad before it will begin to get better,” Fayose said.
Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State, said while Umahi moved to the APC, it was out of place for him to discredit the PDP by spreading lies about the party.
“My friend, Umahi, wants to be President. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be President. Nobody can stop you. You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be President of Nigeria.
“But that does not mean that because you want to blackmail your party and tell lies to the people you are leaving the party because of the injustice meted against the South-East; that is not correct,” Wike said.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the defection of Umahi to the APC.
The President described it as a bold move driven purely by principle rather than opportunistic motives.
“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,” President Buhari said.