By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State governor David Umahi has said that he has no regrets moving to the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the PDP.
He stated this in Abakaliki in a Media Chat with Journalists on the issue of his defection which has generated ripples in the country.
The governor said he moved to the APC because of injustice meted out to the Southeast by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He also said that he has no deal with the APC or any member of the party with regards to zoning of the presidential position to the southeast.
He said: “I want to clear the air that I never sort for PDP presidential ticket and I will not. So whoever that said that I moved to APC because they refused to zone the ticket to me is being very mischievous.
“Even if PDP promises somebody presidential ticket how does it work where in over 8000 delegates will be voting. And such promise cannot happen with more than 10 or 20 people so people are being very mischievous about that.
“There are a lot of qualified persons from Southeast. Some people say I was promised lots of things by the APC, there was no such discussion. APC never promised me any position, they never promised southeast any position.
“However, I offered this movement as a protest to injustice being done to southeast by the PDP. Since 1999 the southeast have supported the PDP. At a time the five states were all PDP. One of the founding members of the PDP was from Southeast, the Late former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme.
“It is absurd that since 1999 going to 2023, the southeast will never be considered to run for presidency under the PDP. And this is my position and will continue to be my position it had nothing to do with me or my ambition,” Umahi said.
Governor Umahi insisted that he would continue to agitate for the interest of the South East in or out of office.
He said he has decided to become the sacrificial lamb that would be crucified for the interest and good of the South East as a zone.
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The Ebonyi State Governor stated that he is not driven by selfish reasons rather long denial and refusal of the PDP to zone the Presidency to the South East.
He noted that till date, the PDP is yet to give reasons why the South East should not get the slot of Presidency.
He noted that he has since 2019 started the agitation for South East Presidency insisting that the zone must get it right now or else wait for another couple of years to get such opportunity again.
Governor Umahi further noted that despite his movement to the All Progressives Congress APC, he would not castigate the People’s Democratic Party stressing that he wish that the PDP would consider the region and zone the Presidency to South East for equity and fairness.
The Ebonyi State Governor who pointed out that he might quit politics in 2023 said that he has not yet declared interest for the office of the Presidency and would support any candidate from the zone for the exalted position.
On the reason given by the PDP that it is not yet time for the issue of zoning, the governor said the PDP Leadership was being economical with the truth.
“In 2015 PDP had zoned the next presidential slot to the north against 2019. Then the executive statement in Bauchi that the presidential slot is open to all parts of the country and the overtures and scheming to remove most members of the National Working Committee- these are some of the indications that the party has no intention of zoning it to the southeast.
“The point is very simple. In 2023, I would have been in PDP between 23 and 24 years and south east never really supported APC the way they are supporting PDP and in that 2023, they would have been 8 years in office but it would have been about 23 years going.
“So, I believe strongly that the will of God will come to play but I believe that APC is amenable to working with south east from all indication, it’s amenable and I also believe that until justice and equity is implanted in this nation Nigeria, it is difficult for Nigeria to make progress,” Umahi said.