Senators and House of Representatives members from Ebonyi State, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, made it clear they were not part of Governor David Umahi’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Federal lawmakers under the aegis of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly, led by Senator Sam Egwu, made their position known at a press conference, in Abuja.
Gov. Umahi who recently left the PDP, under which he was elected governor for two terms, said his decision to leave was as a result of the failure of the PDP to zone the 2023 presidency to the South-East.
He accused the PDP of marginalising the South-East.
However, addressing the media on Wednesday, Egwu, himself a former governor of Ebonyi, stated that while they were in agreement that the 2023 presidential slot in the major political parties should be zoned to the South-East, it was “impolitic, indecent and unwise to give ultimatums and conditionalities in a bid to secure zoning.”
The lawmakers described Umahi as an ingrate, noting that during his time as member of the PDP he had enjoyed the privilege of serving as state party chairman, deputy governor and elected twice as governor.
Egwu said, “For the sake of clarity, we wish to state that not a single member of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to the APC.
“The three distinguished senators and five House of Representatives members remain proud card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party, the platform under which we contested and won elections in 2019.
“The major reason given by Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in the public domain which is that the PDP has not been fair to the People of the South East on the issue of zoning the Presidency and vice Presidency.
“While we support that it is the turn of the South East to fly the Presidential flag, of any of the major political parties come 2023, yet, we consider it impolitic, indecent and unwise to give ultimatums and conditionalities in a bid to secure zoning.
“Indeed, if there is any Ebonyi person who should remain eternally grateful to the PDP, that individual ought to be Governor David Umahi.
“As Governor, his two younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP; one (Mr. Austine Umahi) as the National Vice Chairman (South East) and another (Mr. Maxwell Umahi) as the Deputy State Chairman of the PDP.
“As democrats, we concede Chief Umahi’s right to join any political association of his choice. However, as federal lawmakers we are not unaware of the Supreme Court decision that candidates are products of political parties.
“What it means is that political office holders are not at liberty to migrate from one political platform to another, particularly when there is no division in their party.”