The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who finally dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) says he has no regrets leaving his former party.
Umahi who confirmed his defection on Tuesday told journalists in Abakaliki that he moved to the APC because of “injustice” meted out to the South-East Region by the PDP.
He further disclosed that he had no deal with the APC or any member of the party with regards to the zoning of the presidential position to the South-East.
He said: “I want to clear the air that I never sought (for) PDP presidential ticket and I will not. So whoever that said that I moved to APC because they refused to zone the ticket to me is being very mischievous.
“Even if PDP promises somebody presidential ticket how does it work where over 8000 delegates will be voting. And such promise cannot happen with more than 10 or 20 people so people are being very mischievous about that.
“There are a lot of qualified persons from South-east. Some people say I was promised lots of things by the APC, there was no such discussion. APC never promised me any position, they never promised South-east any position.
“However, I offered this movement as a protest to injustice being done to South-east by the PDP. Since 1999, the South-east have supported the PDP. At a time the five states were all PDP. One of the founding members of the PDP was from South-east, the late former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme.
“It is absurd that since 1999 going to 2023, the South-east will never be considered to run for presidency under the PDP. And this is my position and will continue to be my position. It had nothing to do with me or my ambition.”
Umahi who won the governorship election in the state twice under the PDP platform insisted that he would continue to agitate for the interest of the South-East Region in or out of office.
He stated further that he decided to become the “sacrificial lamb” that would be crucified for the interest and good of the South-east as a zone adding that he was not driven by selfish reasons.
The Ebonyi governor said that he has since 2019 started the agitation for South-East Region Presidency, insisting that the zone must get it right now or else wait for another couple of years to get such opportunity again.
Governor Umahi further pointed out that despite his movement to the ruling APC, he would not castigate his former party – PDP.
He, however, expressed hope that the PDP, the major opposition party, will consider the region and zone the Presidency to South-east for equity and fairness.
Mr Umahi, who said he might quit politics in 2023, said he has not yet declared interest for the presidency and would support any candidate from the zone for the position.
On the reason given by the PDP that it was not yet time for the issue of zoning, the governor said the PDP leadership was being economical with the truth.
“In 2015, PDP had zoned the next presidential slot to the north against 2019. Then the statement in Bauchi that the presidential slot is open to all parts of the country and the overtures and scheming to remove most members of the National Working Committee, these are some of the indications that the party has no intention of zoning it to the South-east.
“The point is very simple. In 2023, I would have been in PDP between 23 and 24 years and south-east never really supported APC the way they are supporting PDP and in that 2023, they would have been eight years in office but it would have been about 23 years going.
“So, I believe strongly that the will of God will come to play but I believe that APC is amenable to working with South-east from all indication, it’s amenable and I also believe that until justice and equity is implanted in this nation Nigeria, it is difficult for Nigeria to make progress,” Governor Umahi stated.