- Governor Wike has told Dave Umahi to stop blackmailing the PDP and spreading falsehood in order to justify his defection
- Wike said contrary to the injustice claim made by Umahi as a reason for his defection, the Ebonyi governor joined the APC for a presidential bid
- The Rivers governor said Umahi's defection was not a surprise because he has been romancing with the ruling party prior to the official declaration
Nyesom Wike has reacted to the defection of Dave Umahi, with the Rivers state governor saying his Ebonyi counterpart left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pursue his presidential ambition.
Legit.ng had reported that Umahi's defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, November 17, was officially recognised by the ruling party household.
The governor parted ways with the opposition block in what has left a huge vacuum in the PDP considering the fact that he is the chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum (SGF) and a leading light for the opposition.
In a swift reaction, Wike said Umahi left the party, not because injustice was meted to the southeast but because of his personal presidential bid.
The Rivers leader also disclosed that his defection did not come to the PDP members as a surprise because the Ebonyi governor was already building a political romance with the ruling party over time.
Governor Wike told Umahi to retrace the statement that he left the PDP because of the injustice against the southeast region by the opposition party, saying he will not allow his "friend" to "blackmail and tell lies to people."
"My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem with that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you."
According to him, the Ebonyi governor is an educated man who is serving his second term as governor and is therefore qualified to say he wants to be Nigeria's president.
Meanwhile, just days after Governor Umahi informed the PDP of his plan to leave for the APC, one of his commissioners resigned.
Ebonyi commissioner for intergovernmental affairs, Lazarus Ogbee, announced his resignation in a letter to the governor.
Another person who tendered his resignation was state's APC publicity secretary, Chika Nwoba.
Revealing the reason for his action, he said he cannot work with Umahi. He expressed gratitude to the APC and its leaders for finding him worthy to be elected to the position in 2018, at the age of 27.
In related news, PDP disclosed that it has not yet decided where to zone its presidential ticket in 2023 as the conversation on succession takes the centre stage.
The PDP national spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, made this known while reacting to the defection of Governor Umahi from the opposition blocks.
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