The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, told the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Tuesday that he was leaving the party.
He said he would join the ruling All Progressives Congress which he claimed would protect the interest of the South-East in the 2023 elections.
Our correspondent gathered that Umahi told the members of the National Working Committee of the PDP that his decision to join the APC was irrevocable.
The members of the PDP NWC, who were led to the meeting by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, were said to have tried in vain to convince the governor not to abandon the party.
Apart from Secondus, among those that were at the meeting at the Ebonyi Governor’s Lodge in Abuja were Deputy National Secretary, Agbo Emmanuel; National Organising Secretary, Austin Akobondu; Financial Secretary, Abdullahi Maibasira; National Women Leader, Mariya Waziri and Senator Sulieman Nazif.
The governor was said to be friendly when he received the PDP delegation, but stuck to his decision to leave the PDP when the issue came up.
It was gathered that the PDP delegation impressed it upon the governor that there was no need leaving the PDP for the APC, which they argued had become unpopular.
Sources at the meeting, however, said the governor was not convinced, insisting that the APC was planning to zone the 2023 Presidency to the South-East.
He was said to have promised to stay in the PDP if the party could make a pronouncement that it would zone the Presidency to the same zone.
One of the sources said, “I think his (governor’s) mind was made up. We told him there was no need for him to abandon the party that had made him a deputy governor, state chairman of the party, two-time governor and all that. But he refused.
“He wanted us to unilaterally zone the office of the Presidency to his area. We cannot do that. Parties are not run that way. He told us he was leaving. That is what we got from him.’’
When contacted, Secondus confirmed that the party’s leadership met with Umahi.
He, however, refused to declared the details of the meeting, insisting that the meeting was on ‘‘national issues.’’