•Our ticket not up for grabs by defectors – APC supply
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Political permutations forward of the 2023 presidential election could also be behind the reported transfer by Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi to dump the Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), THISDAY has learnt.
However some forces throughout the ruling APC in Abuja can also be readying to make Umahi’s alleged 2023 presidential ambition troublesome within the social gathering, if he finally comes on board. Some components within the management of APC are stated to have cautioned the governor that the APC presidential ticket is just not up for grabs by defectors from different events.
Dependable sources within the PDP-controlled Ebonyi State have stated it’s nearly sure that the governor would defect, carrying alongside a few of his loyalists within the state.
The alleged defection transfer, it was gathered, was knowledgeable by assumptions that APC would zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the South, the place many consider the chances are overwhelmingly in favour of Umahi’s South-east.
The member representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency within the Home of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, had on Saturday blown the lid off the defection plan, when he affirmed that Umahi was set to hitch APC. Ogah described the event as a step in the correct course, although an aide of the governor denied the alleged defection transfer.
Nevertheless, sources near the governor hinted that he deliberate to defect to APC with Speaker of the Ebonyi State Home of Meeting, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, and 23 different lawmakers.
THISDAY gathered that the defection transfer was perfected throughout Umahi’s current go to to Abuja, the place he met with the APC high notch. It was additionally learnt that sequence of actions had been lined up on the PA Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, the place the governor and the others had been anticipated to formally announce their exit from PDP, and entry into APC quickly. Some stated it is likely to be as quickly as this week.
Nevertheless, a supply near the Mai Mala Buni-led APC management stated, although, the Ebonyi State governor was welcome within the social gathering, APC couldn’t simply award the presidential ticket to him. The supply added that there was no indication that the APC ticket had been zoned to the South-east.
“If anybody is promising him the presidential ticket, he must be cautious,” the supply relating to Umahi’s presidential ambition, including, “APC can not give him the ticket simply because he defected to our social gathering. We’ve others with presidential ambition and nobody, not even President Muhammadu Buhari, can grant him the presidential ticket similar to that.”
The supply queried, “Who advised Governor Umahi that the ticket is mechanically granted to the South-east, and Ebonyi State, for that matter. We’ve presidential aspirants like Senator Rochas Okorocha, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu from the South-east.
“We even have Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State from the South-west, which has extra APC states beneath their management than the South-east. There have to be one thing else pushing him, past presidential ambition.”
The supply added that Umahi must be conscious of the therapy given to him when he purportedly nominated his brother, Austin Umahi, for ministerial appointment in Buhari’s second time period in 2019, and he was dropped on the final minute. The identical destiny would possibly await the Ebonyi State governor, the supply stated.
In the meantime, a detailed affiliate of the governor advised THISDAY that he hoped to get in APC what PDP couldn’t supply him – the 2023 presidential ticket. The affiliate stated the PDP nationwide chairman, Prince Uche Secondus’ current assertion that each zone may contest the presidency within the social gathering in 2023 didn’t go down effectively with Umahi’s dream of turning into the president of Nigeria.
It will be recalled that Umahi’s APC romance began even earlier than the 2019 normal election, when Prince Arthur Eze revealed to some conventional rulers from Ebonyi State that Buhari had hinted him that he was going handy over to Umahi in 2023.
Umahi has severally denied anti-party accusations from PDP, together with the alleged “smuggling” of 25 per cent vote to Buhari within the 2019 presidential election in Ebonyi State. In the course of the election, the governor was additionally reported to have produced customised luggage of rice as a part of his contribution and honour to Buhari.
It was learnt that Umahi’s APC mates, together with the president’s henchmen, had advised the governor that he wanted to crossover early sufficient to have the ability to profit from the 2023 energy sport.
PDP is alleged to have all alongside been monitoring the governor and his APC romance.
In response to a supply in PDP, “The PDP as a political social gathering performs by the foundations and dictates of its structure and can’t be stampeded into taking unconstitutional selections to please anybody. We aren’t discussing presidential ticket of the social gathering now. There are pockets of elections partaking the eye of the social gathering now.
“It’s not within the curiosity of the PDP Nationwide Working Committee (NWC) to unilaterally say that it has zoned the presidential ticket of the social gathering to any of the six geopolitical zones with out sufficient negotiation. The ultimatum from the Speaker of Ebonyi State to the nationwide management of the social gathering to summon an emergency Nationwide Government Council (NEC) assembly is just not solely unknown to our statute books, but additionally seems just like the hand of Esau and voice of Jacob. The rule is obvious on how the NEC of the social gathering might be known as.”
On the specter of leaving the social gathering and the impact within the area, the supply stated the social gathering wouldn’t be affected.
The supply stated, “APC is aware of that it doesn’t exist in South-east and the voters demonstrated this clearly within the final election. In Imo State, the place they’re pretending to exist, we noticed how a quantity 4 turned a primary within the largest electoral theft in historical past, by means of the Supreme Court docket.
“Within the PDP circle, all people believes that Umahi is pushed by ambition and he’s chasing shadow within the transfer that can make him a sufferer of a political 419, if he thinks that he might be APC presidential flag-bearer in 2023.”
Ogah had on Saturday acknowledged, “Governor Umahi’s defection to our nice social gathering, APC, is a step in the correct course. We can not afford to stay in opposition. We should be part of the ruling social gathering to proceed to reap the dividends of democracy.
“I’m calling on different governors in South-east to toe the road of Governor Umahi and be part of APC. We’ve to be on the centre, we’ve got to hitch the mainstream politics for the general growth of our zone and the nation basically. President Muhammadu Buhari has performed effectively. All people ought to be part of the APC to encourage him.”
However the governor, in a press assertion by his Particular Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze, in Abakaliki, denied the defection transfer. The assertion stated, “The information is a product of a figment of creativeness on the a part of the carriers, as Governor Umahi was, is, and remains to be flying the flag of the Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP). It’s, nonetheless, troublesome to watch how persons are simply persuaded to consider in pretend dummies within the identify of rumours.
“If, for any purpose, Governor Umahi needs to depart Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP), it will likely be formally communicated and may by no means be a product from hearsay mongers.”
Nevertheless, when contacted, the Ebonyi State APC chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze, stated the social gathering’s doorways had been open to obtain Umahi and the others.
Eze stated, “We is not going to be towards him becoming a member of APC, although nothing has steered such to me or my workplace and none of our nationwide leaders has communicated us to that impact. We, nonetheless, need our social gathering to develop, unfold its ideology over Nigeria and make Nigerians consider that it’s the social gathering to determine with.”