From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors under the auspices of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has celebrated the decision of the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, to join the ruling party.
In a statement issued by the PGF chairman and governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the governors described the defection as a testament to APC’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians.
The PGF also commended the Ebonyi governor for taking the courageous and historic step of leaving the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the progressives’ fold.
“PGF heartily welcome Governor Umahi to the APC. We celebrate his decision as a testament to our party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians. The vision of the founding fathers of our legacy parties is for the APC to serve as a platform to unite all Nigerians under a progressive umbrella,” it noted.
The PGF further said that; “with Chief Umahi now in APC, the vision is further reinforced and shall contribute to the process of membership and leadership recruitment at all levels. It is heartwarming that notwithstanding all the fabricated campaigns against the APC and especially our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Umahi is able to make the bold decision to join our party, based on our performance.
“This is a strong acknowledgement of Mr. President’s credentials as a fair leader with balanced and equitable disposition to issues of justice and impartial politics. We specially congratulate our leader, President Buhari and reaffirm our commitment to support him to build our party, APC, as a strong and democratic political party in the country.
“We also congratulate our leaders in APC National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee under the able leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni for yet another historic accomplishment of winning an illustrious and experienced leader in the person of David Umahi,” the governors noted.
Taking a swipe at the opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the PGF said: “We especially welcome our fellow compatriots for taking the courageous and historic step of leaving PDP to the progressives’ fold.
“The movement of our compatriot to the APC, despite all manners of intimidation, harassment and persecution by his former party is worthy of commendation and is indicative of his strong personal principles, commitment and conviction to the progress of Nigeria.
“Indeed, considering the nature of achievements recorded in Ebonyi State since 2015, Chief Umahi couldn’t have been in any other party but the APC. If anything, we are only welcoming Chief Umahi home where he belongs; to the party that will provide him and his people, and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations.
“Together with Chief Umahi and all our leaders in the APC, we are confident that our party’s capacity to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened.
“By coming into the fold of the progressives, Chief Umahi has opted for open, transparent and honest contestation in politics, which is the overarching commitment of President Buhari and all our founding leaders.
“Our National Caretaker Committee is working to ensure the institution of a solid foundation for our democratic development as a party. We are confident that the National Caretaker Committee will soon release detailed programme of activities leading to the National Convention.
“Together with Chief Umahi, we shall forge stronger partnership to mobilise all patriotic and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join us in APC to enhance our capacity as a party to respond and resolve all our democratic challenges.
“Our message to all Nigerians is clear – politics is all about free, fair and transparent contestation. APC belongs to every member. Everyone, from every part of the country is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
“The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social and political development of Nigeria.
“The Progressive Reinforcement of our party has started. Guided by our Caretaker Committee, we look forward to receiving more patriotic and progressive minded Nigerians into our party, APC!” PGF noted in the statement.