A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Enugu State, Chief Joe Mmamel, on Saturday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Newsmen report that Mmamel completed his defection to the APC when he registered in Agu Obowa Ward II in Ezeagu Local Government Area of the state.
He was received by his ward Chairman of the party, Mr Chidozie Uchenna; state Chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye; National Vice Chairman (South-East), Chief Emma Enukwu and former governor of the state, Mr Sullivan Chime.
Mmamel said that his decision to join APC was to attract visible development to his local government and the state.
The defector, who was the first chairman of Ezeagu Local Government Area, said that communities there were in dire need of infrastructural uplift.
He said that it would be counter-productive for Enugu, which had always been at the limelight, to remain in a “dead” party like the PDP.
“It is sad that the PDP is dead. Therefore, we need to align ourselves to a political party that will bring visible development to our people.
“We are going to a political party that will receive and help us to realise our dreams,” he said.
Mmamel described the former governor of the state, Chime, as a father who had not shied away from taking responsibility in leading up-and-coming politicians on the right path.
In his remarks, Chime said that it had become imperative for those remaining in the PDP to chart a new course by looking for a better platform.
He said that having led the PDP in the state for eight years, he owed it a duty to direct his people on developments that would usher the needed improvement in the state.
“The PDP we all belonged to is dead. If I fail to tell you, my conscience will judge me. One of the factional chairmen of the party even advised his followers recently to contest elections elsewhere,” he said.
Chime said that it would have been worse if the APC did not provide a better alternative for politicians.
“APC came into existence and barely one year after they dethroned the PDP. No matter how strong you are if death comes you must go and that was the lot of PDP.
“The party was strong nationally in 2015 because those of us in the states were strong. But it is now dead.
“If you see any PDP member pray for such person because they do not know what they are doing,” he said.
The former governor said that it was obvious that more PDP faithful would join other parties soon, adding that no one should lobby them.
“They will come to you because they don’t have alternative and you should not laugh at them when they come,” he said.
Also, the National Vice-Chairman, Enukwu, said that the APC was poised to win the state in 2019.
Enukwu said that the party would conduct its affairs in the state with all civility, adding that they would soon launch their local government sensitisation programme across the state.
He said that it was only in APC that the people of South-East would realise their political ambition of leading the country.
NAN reports that Mmamel joined the APC with no fewer than 1000 supporters.