Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State has confirmed that he is defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Despite the unpopular nature of his decision, Umahi who spoke to journalists in Abakaliki on Tuesday said he will not regret the decision no matter its outcome, adding that he wants to be a martyr who will be sacrificed to achieve the much-sought Igbo presidency.
“I have to lead the protest against the marginalisation of the Igbos by the PDP and I don’t have to consult anybody to lead such a protest.
“I don’t want the PDP to collapse in the south east but it can collapse itself in the zone if it does not heed to the peoples’ advice to entrench justice, fairness and equity.
“The PDP should be bold to declare its stand on zoning of the presidency to the south east and if it cannot, should tell us why we are not capable of holding such a position but will come for our votes during elections,” he said.
The governor pointed out that the decision to leave PDP was not about leadership but about patriotism, justice, fairness and the overall interest of the people.
“I am not vying for any position in the APC so anybody who does not like me over the defection will be fighting the air.
“I will instead play the fatherly role of guiding anyone who wants to vie for any position because it is a waste of time for any governor to seek replacing himself.
“When you are looking for everybody to be loyal to you in politics, you might not get to your destination because destinations are not straight but full of obstacles,” he said.
Umahi said that he will not be disturbed if the APC fails to zone the presidency to the south east but will depend on God to determine the matter.
“The APC, however, appears to be amenable towards working with the south east even though the south east never supported it the way it supported the PDP since 1999.
“We would be 24 years with the PDP by 2023 and Ebonyi, under my administration, will testify the numerous feats we have attained with the support of my friend and father, President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
He said that his defection has created a political gathering and mass movement, unprecedented in Ebonyi history with both PDP and APC faithful coming together to pursue a common cause.
“I will have no regrets if our agitations are not met in APC as it will be on record that a governor was sacrificed for the betterment of his people on what is rightfully, their due.
“We will still protest if we are still unfairly treated in the APC because protest is the beauty of democracy and if it doesn’t work now, it can work in future,” he said.