SouthEast and APC: Matters Arising

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Comrade Laba

Recent broadcast by the Ebonyi State Governor Engr. David Umahi suggests that he is leaving the People’s Democratic Party because of the injustice meted to the SouthEast by the PDP over the last 21yrs. This is a weighty allegation made by a credible member of the party. Engr. David Umahi has been a faithful party member having served as former State party Chairman of the PDP, former Deputy Governor and now the Governor under the umbrella. In the light of the series of lined up portfolios he has held, we might have to take his word seriously.

In his rebuttals, Governor Nyesom Wike rejected Governor Umahi’s submissions saying that Engr. David Umahi is leaving the party for his Presidential ambition and not because of the cited injustice.

These are the submissions from the two sides which we would dig into in a moment.
To take up Governor Umahi’s submission we would have to go down history lane. At the height of Abacha’s reign, Dr. Alex Ekwueme’s G34 movement was neck deep in confronting late Gen. Abacha to stop his self succession bid. Gen. Abacha died and what was the G34 movement metamorphosed into the PDP.

Prior to the 1998 Jos primaries, Lawal Kaita, former Governor of Kaduna State, in the first PDP Presidential zoning arrangement suggested that the party ticket be capped with Alex Ekwueme (SouthEasterner) as the sole candidate. The response of Dr. Alex Ekwueme was nationalistic, he
insisted that the ticket should be zoned to Southern Nigeria and not to his person and so everyone went to the Jos Primaries which saw the miraculous emergence of Chief Obasanjo.

Even with the clear aberrations that subsisted in the Jos primaries, Alex Ekwueme and the SouthEast supported the PDP and other regions subsequently, and that for the last 21 years. The argument of David Umahi’s faction is that despite the sacrifice endured by the SouthEast in the last 21yrs in abiding with the PDP in health and in sickness, in wealth and lack, that the region has been treated unfairly in that it has been denied an opportunity to fly the party’s Presidential flag. Does this argument hold water?

From Governor Wike’s perspective, he only insists that Governor Umahi’s crosscarpetting is for his own Presidential interest and not because of any cited marginalisation. If we take Wike’s argument into perspective, we can dare to ask the legitimacy or moral right of Wike in determining what is in the interest of the SouthEasterners or not.

As much as we cannot ascertain the real motives behind Governor Umahi’s crosscarpetting to APC, the truth is that we may not trust Governor Wike’s judgement either in trying to determine what is in the interest of the SouthEast or not. The only truth we can hold fast is that looking at the historical sojourn of the SouthEast in PDP, we believe that the region is at constitutional liberty to crosscarpet to any party it finds worthy and viable in seeking out its political future and interest. What do you think?

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