River State Governor Nyesom Wike has slammed his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, for claiming he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the injustice the party meted out to the South-East region.
According to Wike, Umahi left the PDP for his supposed quest to become the president of Nigeria in 2023.
Umahi, who spoke officially about his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, had claimed he dumped the opposition PDP for injustice against the South-East zone.
But in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, Tuesday night, Wike said.
“My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you. You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be president of Nigeria. But, that does not mean you should because of that blackmail your party, and tell lies to the people you are leaving the party because of the injustice meted against the South-East, that is not correct.”
Governor Wike, who demanded that Umahi should retract the statement that the PDP had not been fair to the South-East, argued that under the PDP, the South-East has produced Senate presidents; national vice chairman of the PDP and Secretary to the Federal Government.
He said it was erroneous for Umahi to accuse PDP of injustice, when he had unilaterally imposed his younger brother as South-East zonal vice chairman of the PDP.
“In life, power is sweet, but conscience is important. It is most offensive and insulting for a man to lie against his party because of power,” Wike added.
The governor said though APC had not yet told Nigerians where it would zone its presidential ticket, “Umahi presumptuous move might be too hasty and will ruin him politically.”
According to him, assuming the APC decides to zone its presidential ticket to the South-East where the party has no formidable base, what is the guarantee that Umahi will secure the ticket.
“My reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to the South-East that is insulting to the South East.”
The governor urged the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee of the PDP to take decisive steps to ensure that PDP does not die in Ebonyi State.
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