Chief Joe Mmamel, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Enugu State, on Saturday joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mmamel completed his defection to the APC when he registered in his Agu Obowa Ward II in Ezeagu Local Government Area of the state.
He was received by his ward Chairman, Mr Chidozie Uchenna, APC chairman in Enugu state, Dr Ben Nwoye and the party’s national Vice Chairman in the South-East, Chief Emma Enukwu.
The former governor of the state under the platform of the PDP, Mr Sullivan Chime, was among the dignitaries who received Mmamel.
Mmamel said his decision to join the ruling party at the national level was to attract visible development to his local government and the state in general.
Mmamel, who was the first executive chairman of Ezeagu Local Government Council, said the area was in dire need of infrastructural uplift.
He said that it would be counter-productive for Enugu state, which had always been in 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 realise our dreams,” he added.
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 speech, Chime said it had become imperative for those remaining in the PDP to chart a new course for themselves by looking for a better platform.
He explained 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 improvements 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.
The former governor 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 it dethroned the PDP. No matter how strong you are, if death comes you must go and that was the lot of the PDP.
“The party (PDP) 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.
Chime said it was obvious that more PDP members would join other parties soon, adding that no one should laugh at them.
“They will come to you because they don’t have alternative and you should not laugh at them when they come,” Chime said.
In his remarks, Chief Enukwu, APC National Vice Chairman, South-East, said the party was poised to win the state in 2019.
He promised that the APC would conduct its affairs in the state with civility.
Enukwu said that the leadership of the party would soon launch local government sensitisation programmes across the state.
He said that the desire of the people of the South-East to achieve their political ambition of leading Nigeria could only be realised on the platform of the APC.
NAN reports that Mmamel joined the APC with over 1,000 supporters from his ward.