By Muklwuzi Joseph
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, alleged that his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, left the Peoples Democratic Party to pursue a presidential bid.
This is as Umahi at a media briefing in Abakaliki on Tuesday said his decision to dump the Peoples Democratic Party, was premised on his conviction that the All Progressives Congress was more amenable to working in the interest of the South East zone.
But Wike said, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, on Monday, that contrary to Umahi’s claims, the PDP had not been unfair to the South-East.
Wike noted that Umahi’s defection did not come to committed PDP members as a surprise because the Ebonyi State governor had been fraternising with the ruling party over time.
“My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem with 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 also asked the Ebonyi governor to retract his statement of PDP not being fair to the South-East, stressing that under the PDP, the South East has produced Senate Presidents, national vice party chairman, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
He also alleged that it was erroneous for Governor Umahi to accuse the PDP of injustice, when he had unilaterally ‘imposed’ his younger brother as South-East Zonal Vice Chairman of the PDP.
“In life, power is sweet, but conscience is important. It is most offensive and insulting for a man to lie against his party because of power.
“My reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to the South East, that is insulting to the South East.”
Also pointing out that the APC has not revealed where it will zone its presidential ticket, the Rivers state Governor urged the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee of the PDP to take decisive steps to ensure the PDP does not die in Ebonyi State.