By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
Many PDP chieftains, including federal lawmakers, will soon dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi said on Thursday as formally bade the PDP farewell.
He was received into the All Progressives Congress (APC) by its national caretaker chairman, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni.
Umahi received the APC flag, broom and the party card from the chairman at a reception for him in Abakaliki, the state capital.
The ceremony was attended by Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, Governors of Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Sani Bello (Niger), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and APC leaders from the Southeast.
Buni said Umahi’s admission into the ruling party marked a new beginning in the history of Ebonyi State.
Hailing Umahi for taking a bold step, Buni said many people were inclined to joining the APC because President Muhammadu Buhari had been fair to all, irrespective of political affiliations.
He recalled that when 27 states could not pay salaries, the President gave them bailout funds, despite political differences.
Apart from the bailout and the Anchor Borrowers Programme from which many states benefit from, Ebonyi and the Southeast states in general would be fully integrated into the national programme and policies of the present administration.
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He lauded Umahi for exhibiting courage and taking a step that would liberate the Southeast, despite attacks and criticism from some quarters, urging other Southeast governors to take a cue.
Buni said Umahi’s achievements stand him out in the geo-political zone.
Exuding confidence, Umahi said APC has become a dominant party in the state, assuring that many PDP chieftains, including federal lawmakers, will soon follow his footsteps.
Umahi said: “We have remained in the PDP for a very long time with all the empty promises. So, I think it’s high time we moved.
“Today, Ebonyi State is 99.9% APC; the remaining per cent are the National Assembly members and some of our elders’ council. I know too well that all of them will soon join us in APC because in Ebonyi State, there is no opposition.
“I know what the National Assembly members are looking for and the moment they get it, they will join us in APC. I want to assure all that this new house built on equity and trust will accommodate all.
“Party should not divide us. I believe that together we will be stronger. So, there is no need for anyone to be aggrieved. It’s high time Southeast move into the APC in totality. We are tired of PDP and their empty promises.”
The governor reminded his teeming supporters and admirers that no single individual can determine the destiny of anyone without God factor.
“We have gotten our freedom now, freedom from one person deciding the faith of millions of people as seen in PDP.
“I want to assure all that everyone would be carried along. No one would be discriminated. We are going to work as a family to achieve our common goal and aspiration”.
Commending President Buhari for his support and encouragement, he said: “We must thank the leadership of the APC for giving us the opportunity to be part of the transformation in the country. Southeast must get it right now.”