- Some prominent Igbo leaders and members of APC were absent at Governor Umahi's defection rally
- Umahi formally defected to APC on Thursday, November 19, from PDP
- But the Senate chief whip, Orji Uzor Kalu and the ex-governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha were absent at the event
The last may not have been heard about the controversies that greeted the defection of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Vanguard reports that barely two days after Governor Umahi's formally joined the APC, the discord among party stakeholders over the defection may have led to the absence of some notable political figures of the party from the southeast at his formal defection on Thursday, November 19.
Legit.ng gathered that only Senator Ken Nnamani, who is a member of Governor Mala Buni led the APC caretaker committee attended the rally while other Igbo leaders were absent.
The report said that the southeast leaders including Hope Uzodinma, who was the only APC governor from the region were completely absent.
The Senate chief whip and the highest elected political office holder from the southeast, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, was also absent at the event.
According to the report, the minister of science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu who incidentally comes from the same village, Uburu community, as Umahi was also absent as Senator Rochas Okorocha, the first leader of the party from the zone also jettisoned the rally.
It was gathered that the absence of the southeast APC leaders flowed from what was alleged as the mutterings that flowed from the deals the governor may have reached with the national leadership for his defection.
A prominent political player from the state who defected to the APC before Umahi was quoted to have said:
“You can see it that apart from Ken (Nnamani) who had to be there because of his membership of the caretaker committee that all other Southeast leaders were not there. Not even Onu who is from his village was there.
“You can see that he was welcomed by Northerners into his new party and certainly his brothers from the southeast who should have been there were all absent."
The political tension over the governor’s defection was said to have begun to fester as the Umahi’s camp continued desperately to mobilise political stakeholders from the state to follow the governor.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Governor Umahi’s special assistant on internal security and public utilities (urban), Egwu Chidiebere, resigned his appointment.
It was reported that the governor’s aide resigned the same day Umahi formally defected from the PDP to the APC.
Chidiebere said the irreconcilable ideological differences and personal considerations in the state prompted his resignation.
APC sacks NWC, appoints caretaker committee | - on Legit TV