The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has officially joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On the day of his defection, however, another aide of the governor resigned from his government.
At the event in Abakaliki, the state capital, the National Caretaker Chairperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mala Buni, handed over the APC flag, broom, and the party card to Mr Umahi as a symbol of his joining the party.
Governor Buni said that the official admission of Governor Umahi into the party marks a new beginning in the history of Ebonyi State.
He stated that President Muhammadu Buhari, since assumption of office, has been fair to everyone irrespective of political affiliation.
According to him, when over 27 states could not pay salaries, the president gave out bailout funds to all the states without putting into consideration party affiliation.
He stated that apart from the bailout funds and the Anchor Borrowers scheme, which many states have benefitted from, Ebonyi State and the South-east in general, would be fully integrated into the national programme and policies of the present administration.
READ ALSO: Why I dumped PDP for APC — Umahi
He commended the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, for being courageous and taking a bold step that would liberate the South-east region despite attacks and criticism from some quarters.
He called on other South East governors to follow the footsteps of Governor Umahi by joining the APC.
He added that the achievements of Governor Umahi stands him out.
Earlier, Mr Umahi stated that with his defection completed, Ebonyi today is now for APC, pointing out that in no time, all the PDP National Assembly members from the state will join the APC.
He noted that Ebonyi State has remained in one political party for a very long time and there is the need for us to move.
“We have remained in the PDP for a very long time, with all the empty promises, so I think it’s high time we move”.
“Today, Ebonyi State is 99.9% APC, the remaining 1% are the National Assembly members and some of our Elders Council. I know too well that all of them will soon join us in APC because in Ebonyi State, there is no opposition.”
“I know what the National Assembly members are looking for and the moment they get it, they will join us in APC. I want to assure all that this new house built on equity and trust will accommodate all.”
“Party should not divide us, I believe that together we will be stronger. So there is no need for anyone to be aggrieved. It’s high time the South East moves to APC in totality. We are tired of PDP and their empty promises.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the federal lawmakers from Ebonyi, on Wednesday, dissociated themselves from Mr Umahi’s defection, saying they would remain in the PDP.
On Thursday, Mr Umahi reminded his teeming supporters and admirers that no single individual can determine the destiny of anyone without God.
“We have gotten our freedom now, freedom from one person deciding the faith of millions of people as seen in PDP.”
“I want to assure all that everyone would be carried along. No one would be discriminated against. We are going to work as a family to achieve our common goal and aspiration.”
Mr Umahi used the opportunity to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for all the support and encouragement so far given to the state, adding that the support of Mr President is the testimony of the transformation being witnessed in Ebonyi State today.
“We must thank the leadership of the APC for giving us the opportunity to be part of the transformation in the country. South-east must get it right now.”
Those who attended the function included the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; governors of Kebbi, Niger, and Jigawa states; other APC national leaders from the South-east region; Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouk; among other notable personalities from the party.
Meanwhile, another appointee of Governor Umahi who is the Special Assistant on Internal Security and Public Utilities (Urban), Egwu Chidiebere, has resigned his appointment.
His resignation came the same day the governor formally joined the fold of the APC in the state.
His resignation followed that of Lazarus Ogbee, the commissioner on Inter-Governmental Affairs, who resigned last week.
Mr Chidiebere submitted his letter of resignation to the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Ugbala.
He said he would have wished to continue working with the governor but for the prevailing political cataclysm in the state and other irreconcilable ideological differences and personal considerations.
“I hereby respectfully resign my appointment as the SA on Internal Security and Public Utilities (Urban) with effect from today, 19th day of November, 2020.
“My resignation should not be misconstrued as an affront to your person, thus, but in tandem with my principle never to betray my master and anyone else,” he said.