From Emmanuel Uzor, Abakaliki
The All Progressives Congress, (APC) has been celebrating defection of some prominent politicians from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the South- East to its fold. But the opposition political party in the zone accused the ruling party of faking the defection. The South East- National Vice Chairman of the party, Chief Austin Umahi believed the party arranged the defection.
For some time now, the media have been awash with stories of defection of prominent members of your party, the PDP to APC, what exactly in the position of the party in the zone?
The people that are defecting from PDP to APC have no political value, yes I was astonished to hear that an Ex-Governor of Enugu State defected to APC, this is a man that was in total darkness and PDP picked him up, made him a Commissioner, two term Governor etc, just because he wanted to go to the Senate, his people said No, and he wanted to be a Lord to the man in Enugu State Government House and he failed and then he took to criticism. Very soon he will come back to tell Ndigbo why he defected. We learnt that his claim for defecting was to protect the people’s interest. But I dare say that Sullivan Chime’s defection was for his selfish reasons because he did not defect as a result of the interest of the good people of South-East, he defected just to protect his empire. And if I may ask ‘how many people did he defect to APC with? The answer is nobody. Of what use is his defection? We also have a similar case in Ebonyi State, where an 83 years old former governor defected to APC, we all know that the former governor of Ebonyi State (Chief Martin Elechi), left PDP in the year 2014 to Labour Party (LP), after two years of being in LP, he has now defected to the APC, my question is, ‘at his age, is he suppose to be jumping from one party to another? Capital No. Chief Martin Elechi cannot boast of defecting with his wife or son, People defecting to APC are people who cannot win their polling Unit; their defection cannot take sleep out of our eyes. We are tired of promises, we are tired of recycling, that is the more reason we are not perturbed or disturbed by their defection. I call them Abuja politicians who don’t have grassroots support.
I want to ask you ‘between 2015 and 16 years of Democracy by PDP, compare it with the two years of the present government in Nigeria. Keep the answer to yourself. In Governance, there is no way you give it 100percent, 80-90percent is a pass mark, PDP is doing very well in human empowerment and stomach infrastructure, check the states where the PDP is in control, as the National Vice Chairman in the South -East, I give them excellent marks. To be frank with ourselves, Nigerians are missing PDP. Look at the youth empowerment, it is unprecedented in the history of Ebonyi State, I used to think Ebonyi State was alone on such meritorious achievements but when I visited Abia and Enugu States, I saw they were doing the same thing. Few days from now, Abia State Governor will be sending one hundred youths to China to understudy China, that is human empowerment, what again are we talking? It pains me looking at some Igbos with the level of marginalization Ndigbo are passing through in the so called democratic government and then some Igbo people will be proud to say that they are defecting.
South-East has no regret whatsoever the way they voted in 2015 and they are going to vote even more than that in 2019 but I can assure you by the special grace of God APC has done all the work for PDP, and PDP has to do their homework very well and correct some mistakes and possess our possession, come 2019 because Villa is our possession and we must repossess it. As the National Vice Chairman of PDP South East, I have no doubt that we can repossess it.
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has been sending a warning signal to Anambra state that APC will sweep the poll as well as capture the remaining states in the zone, what is the reaction of PDP to that threat?
I assure you that it is an empty boast, Rochas should boast with what he is doing in Imo state, as a result of his transformation that Anambra people will want to get the same party ruling Imo state. Will Anambra State pray for that kind of governance? The answer is capital NO. I had noted that politics of today has been transformed and renewed, it is no longer politics of propaganda, people are interested in what you are doing, if it is road, they want to ply it, if it is light, they want to see it shining, if it is water, they will want to open the tap and see it running, it is not any how water, the people must see the quality of water. They want to see the quality of road, the quality of light that is what the people want that is why people are tired, there is so much frustration, there is so much disenchantment, and thank God you used the word ‘boast’ and I will let it be at that, when we get to the bridge we shall cross it and I can assure you that Anambra people are knowledgeable, Anambra people can play their cards very well, they have been doing marriages and it must stop because of the present formidable South-East PDP officials, the marriage must stop and PDP must possess its possession.
We the South-East PDP Executives must simplify, showcase what is happening in Ebonyi, Abia and Enugu states where PDP are in charge, after all we are one inseparable family.
There is also this speculation that some aggrieved members of PDP will be forming an alliance with Action Democratic Party, how true is this?
I thank God you said it is a rumour, I have heard more rumours than you. As a leader, there is nothing I have not heard even in Social media, but the truth of the matter is that here we are today in the South- East PDP Zonal Headquarters and with me are the South East PDP Zonal officers, as you can see, there is no PPA, ATP, AOU flag or whatever here, what you all are seeing is PDP and we are discussing PDP affairs which is all about power to the people. There is no issue of alliance, formation of this and formation of that because South- East has been terribly marginalized and we are not fools, we all have to sit and iron issues out, God forbid if anything goes wrong, we all have to move as a formidable force. We are still in PDP. Yes our case is in court, we are very optimistic, we are believing God that Justice will be done. And why must it be done? It is to save Democracy in Nigeria and that is why everyone is watching and listening. Our Democracy must be saved and who will save it? It is the PDP. Even APC members are busy begging, calling me asking me how is your case in court so that we can easily do justice to Democracy. I must tell you authoritatively that APC is an association of people with different ideologies and different political interests, go and see them fighting themselves, there are lots of in-fighting of who will succeed who, they want to succeed a living man, is it not an Abomination? We have a living President and we should not begin to talk of succession. When his time elapses then you will see the true Igbo leaders speak and when they speak you will know and understand we are not in disarray, you will also understand that we are one united family, demonstrating maturity at the right time towards the right path. The truth is some of these things you are seeing and hearing are just ‘arrangee.’ I have to use the word because the tempo is dropping and the voices of masses are beginning to be heard.