By Jide Orintunsin, Abuja
Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma on Monday said more South-East governors from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are expected in the ruling All Progressives Congress in due course.
He also said the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to the governing party is a done deal.
Addressing newsmen after a brief consultation with the Chairman of the Caretaker/ Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja said more state governors from the geo-political zone are on the waiting list to jump ship to the fold of the ruling party soon.
Uzodinma attributed the much touted defection of Umahi to the concerted efforts by APC leaders to make an in-road into the South East geopolitical zone.
According to him, “if you recall when I addressed you here couple of months ago, I told you that the moment I resume office in Imo State as the governor, that the impression and the perception of our party in South East will change and the resultant effect will be that more credible individuals and governors will even join the party.
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“Today I am being vindicated because we are hearing it and I’m sure few hours from now we get a confirmation that one of our best will be joining the party and is the Governor of Ebonyi State.
“Of course, I will be very glad and it will be my joy to welcome a governor and more governors, not only him, we are still talking more governors to join.”
He further said that “APC is the ruling party and for the interest of national integration and cohesion, Imo and South East indeed, need to become part and parcel of the ruling party to make the Nigerian project a complete project.”
On his visit to the party’s headquarters, the Governor said, “I had a private audience with the National Chairman and some members of the NWC (Caretaker Committee) and also to be able to touch base with our preparedness for the upcoming bye-election.
“Of course you know any moment from now there will be a senatorial bye-election in Imo State, Imo North Senatorial District and I think our party is prepared, in Imo too we are prepared. APC is the party to beat in Imo state.
“The most important thing is APC to win the election. The party has internal mechanism of confirming who the candidate is. The Supreme Court has said it; the Electoral Act has said it. Every party has the right and it is only the party that sponsors a candidate.
“Of course we have our candidate, there are some few legal issues going on. I don’t want to go into that now because the matter is pending in court, it is subjudice but at the end of the day we have a candidate.”