The Ebonyi lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the National Assembly (NASS) say no member of the caucus is defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The chair of the caucus, Sam Egwu, in the company of three other senators and five House of Representatives members from Ebonyi, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
The PDP lawmakers in NASS were reacting to the recent cross carpeting of the Ebonyi Governor Dave Umahi from the PDP to the APC.
Mr Egwu, who spoke on behalf of the caucus said: “For the sake of clarity, we wish to state that not a single member of the Ebonyi State PDP caucus of the National Assembly is leaving to the APC.
“The three distinguished Senators and five House of Representatives members remain proud card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform under which we contested and won elections in 2019.”
He said the major reason given by Umahi for exiting PDP to the APC was now in the public domain, which was that the PDP had not been fair to the people of South East on the issue of zoning the Presidency and Vice Presidency.
He said the caucus supported calls that it was the turn of the South-east to fly the presidential flag of any of the major political parties come 2023.
He, however, said the PDP NASS caucus considered his cross carpeting as “impolitic, indecent and unwise” to give ultimatums and conditionalities in a bid to secure zoning.
“Indeed, if there is any Ebonyi person who should remain eternally grateful to the PDP, that individual ought to be the Governor, David Umahi.
“A man who was appointed the Ebonyi State chairman of the PDP, made deputy governor of a PDP administration, and was elected for two terms under the banner of the PDP.
“As Governor, his two younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP, one, Mr Austine Umahi, as the National Vice Chairman South East and another, Mr Maxwell Umahi as the Deputy State Chairman of the PDP.”
He said as democrats, the caucus acknowledged Mr Umahi’s right to join any political association of his choice.
He, however, noted that as federal lawmakers they were not unaware of the Supreme Court decision that candidates are products of political parties.
“What it means is that political office holders are not at liberty to migrate from one political platform to another, particularly when there is no division in their party,” Egwu explained.
He thanked the leadership of the PDP for its prompt action in dissolving the ward, local government, state and zonal structures of the party in Ebonyi.
He also thanked the PDP for its announcement of a state caretaker team.
“We also wish to thank teeming members and supporters in our various constituencies who have remained undaunted and committed to their membership of the PDP.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that present at the news conference was Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia) who is Senate’s minority leader.
Other lawmakers from Ebonyi are: Obinna Ogba, Mike Nnachi, Sylvester Ogbaga, Igariwey Enwo, Chukwuma Nwazunku, Edwin Anayo and Livinus Makwe.