Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said his Ebonyi counterpart, David Umahi’s desire to be All Progressives Congress, APC’s presidential candidate was why he dumped Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Wike said Umahi’s allegation that there was injustice in South-East’s PDP was not true, adding that “committed members of PDP were not surprised that Governor Umahi, on Tuesday, formally defected to APC, which he has for a while been fraternising with.”
Governor Wike, said ordinarily he would not have been perturbed by Umahi’s decision to defect to the APC, but, he felt offended by his attempt to justify his decision on the purported injustice meted on the South East by the PDP.
In a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Assistant (Media) on Tuesday, Wike accused Umahi of being unfair to PDP, which gave him governorship ticket in 2015 against all odds, and repeated the same feat in 2019.”
Wike said while Umahi has a right to move to APC, to attempt to blackmail PDP and paint it in a bad light was mischievous and unacceptable.
However, while APC welcomed Umahi “home”, Umahi said there was no discussion in APC where he was promised any position in the cause of his defection, adding that his movement was a protest for the injustice being done to the South-East by the PDP.”
But Wike, faulting the premises of Umahi’s defection, 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 that because you want to 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 has not been fair to the South-East, argued that under 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 his Ebonyi counterpart to accuse PDP of injustice when he had unilaterally imposed his younger brother as South-East zonal Vice Chairman of the PDP.
The governor said though APC has not yet told Nigerians where it will zone its presidential ticket, Umahi’s 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?