By Peter Okutu— Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Sunday night revealed that the plan behind his defection was for the former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and other leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to join him in APC two weeks after he must have successfully defected.
Umahi who disclosed this while addressing APC stakeholders at a meeting in Abakaliki noted that Anyim backed out of the plan because he (Umahi) went to see President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the defection plan.
Umahi said he consulted all the National Assembly members and Elders from the State over his defection to APC, claiming all them approved his move and even agreed to subsequently defect with him.
He said the only grievance of the NASS members and other leaders was that he joined APC before them, revealing that they actually wanted to join APC before him.
“They were planning to ambush me, but it is difficult to catch the air,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation making the round that Anyim gave him N5bn to prosecute his governorship election in 2015, Umahi said: “I was a deputy governor, somebody occupying the highest position from the South-East (referring to Anyim) went and arranged for a N5bn naira loan for me to prosecute the presidential election for his government.
“I had to sell many of my properties to pay back that money.”
He alleged former Governor Martin Elechi was also fought by the same people fighting him.
“All these people that came together to fight me, they collect contracts, they collect monthly pay, they collect vehicles. And when they are asked to bring people that worked for us, they will bring their wives, children and relations.
“Now, they are dressing words for us. We are in chapter one, in Chapter two, I will publish all that I have done for the leaders of this state,” Umahi vowed.
In a communique issued after the meeting, the Stakeholders and elders of the State noted that the decision to join was in the best interest of South East some as it will once again launch Ndigbo to the centre- stage of national politics.
The communique reads: “That we consider the decision as a bold step towards mainstreaming with the party at the centre to savour the full complements of the Nation’s dividends of democracy for the good of Ebonyi State and the prosperity of her inhabitants.
“That we uphold the move to join the party at the centre as a decision in the best interest of South East, which shall once again launch Ndigbo to the centre- stage of national politics.
We believe that those who are castigating this arrangement today will in the future praise the foresightedness and forthrightness that informed this bold decision to the mainstream with the party of national unity.
“That we are worried by the alarm raised by the Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi on the plot of some politicians to unleash terror and destabilize the security of the state and therefore reiterate that as stakeholders and elders of the state, we cannot fold our hands and watch the state go into flames again after the hard-earned peace and harmony we achieved under the present administration.
“That we recount the killings and wanton destruction of property in the state between 2000 and 2006, especially the Ishielu killings, Ivo Killings, and the brazen destruction of property orchestrated by some highly placed politicians which left Ebonyi state into a monumental socio-economic disaster.
“That as stakeholders and elders, we are constrained to warn that we will never again allow such evil to befall the state.
“That we warn those that have such plans to destabilize the peace and harmony in the state and those who think they are distracting the Governor, to desist forthwith as we shall mobilize all forces to resist them.
“Unfortunately, those who think they are distracting the Governor came late as our dear Governor has delivered in his promises to the people of the state.
“That we once again re-state our unwavering love, solidarity, and support to our dear Governor and praise him for the unprecedented development in the state that has given us boldface in the comity of states.
“We, therefore, urge him to remain focused and undaunted in his determination to transform Ebonyi state for the good of all.”