Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has described as misleading reports quoting the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, as belonging to both the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Director-General of the Forum, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, in a statement condemning the report, said that “it is blatant falsehood packaged to tarnish his (Umahi) image and put a smile on the faces of the sponsors and author of the publication.”
Umahi was quoted to have told aggrieved PDP members – when he received some “stakeholders” from Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state at the weekend – to forget about their “planned defection” to the APC, a party to which he said he also belongs.
The Governor reportedly told them to stop running “from here to here” as this could amount to anti-party activities, adding that he is the only one who can engage in such and “nothing will happen.”
“Stay in one place. Don’t run from here to there and from there to here,” the Governor was quoted as saying.
“E no make sense. If you say you dey there (APC), know I am already there. If you go to APC, I am an APC member. If you go to PDP, I am there,” he reportedly said.
“I am the only person that does anti-party and nothing will happen. Any other person that does anti-party is gone. So, I am representing you in APC while you all stay in PDP. If you like, go and write it on social media.”
The statement by Onaiwu reads:
“The news circulating online that our dear member-governor, H.E. Engr. David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State said he belongs to both the PDP and APC is a blatant falsehood aimed at tarnishing the image of the governor and as well derailing him from his focus. The author of that publication acted in bad fate, with malice and certainly with ulterior and sinister motives.
“On several occasions and at all times even in the face of stiff opposition and blackmail, Gov. Umahi has always proven to be a committed party man. He loves the party; he loves the PDP Governors Forum, and they in turn love and cherish the friendship and bond between them.
“It is, therefore, no gainsaying that all this is about 2023, but may we hasten to add that there are more civilized and cultured ways to go about it. Yes, he like every other key-player in the political arena, may have his ambitions and dreams upon the end of his current service tenure in 2023; he may aspire for any of the offices at the Presidential Villa, which of course he is constitutionally fit and qualified for, but that will certainly be on the platform of the PDP.
“We have enough reasons and instances to believe that he may have been quoted out of context in the now-viral online publication. We smell mischief. “We see the handiwork of detractors who are too scared of his credentials and constantly growing legacies so far attained in governance in Ebonyi State. “We perceive falsehood from the pit of hell taken too far by those who are envious of the numerous gigantic projects his administration is handling; detractors who hate the fact that in the past four going to five years, Ebonyi State how now become a huge construction site for infrastructural development too numerous to mention.
“Finally, we wish to emphatically state that Governor Umahi is 100% and above dedicated to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We can boldly say that he has never and will never indulge in the profanity of playing double standards, not with a party like PDP which he holds dear to his heart.
“He is and will always remain a revered Apostle of anti-party activities.”