From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Former member of the House of Representatives and factional spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Ogbonna Nwuke, has defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Although the former Commissioner for Information under ex-governor Chibuike Amaechi and past Publicity Secretary of the Minister of Transportation’s factional camp is yet to officially announce the political party, he has indirectly disclosed that his defection is to the PDP.
The former federal lawmaker officially announced dumping the party when he briefed journalists in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Nwuke regretted that the change, which his former party (APC) promised his Etche ethnic nationality has impoverished the people in the last six years.
He said the decision to leave APC was not induced but was borne out of personal conviction, stressing that it followed his perceived marginalisation of the Etche people by the Federal Government.
‘Last week or thereabouts, I issued a statement saying that I was stepping aside from my role as spokesperson. As at that time, I did not say if I was leaving the party. I said then that my reasons were strictly personal. A day that I didn’t want to come has come,’ he expressed.
‘For those who know me and my political history, I have always been very steady. I worked with Ebenezer Isokriari when he was aspiring to be governor. He didn’t win, but we stayed with him. Thereafter, I took up membership of the PDP, serving with my very good friend and remained with him. But a time comes in a man’s life when he needs to make certain decisions.
‘Now, I believe it is time to step aside from the APC. No doubt that a part of you will die. We did not anticipate that a day like this will come. So, accordingly, I want to tell you, my dear colleagues, that I have left APC. I am not an ethnic bigot, but then we cannot deny the fact that all politics is local.
‘I do not believe that in the last six years that my ethnic nation has been properly treated by those we have fought for. It has been difficult to appreciate that in the comity of 23 local governments, that the Etche ethnic nation has remained empty when it comes to appointments and all. Perhaps, Etche needs new development partners because what is critical is the aspirations of Etche nation,’ Nwuke said.
The former APC spokesman claimed that he is happy to have left the party more united than he had meant it when he took over as a spokesman.