Following the exit of Governor Dave Umahi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, the political platform has returned to the drawing board.
Umahi switched to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday for “personal reasons”. But insiders say the governor is nursing an ambition to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Umahi has a long history with the PDP. He was the party’s state acting chairman in 2007, state chairman in 2009, deputy governor in 2011, governor in 2015 and re-elected governor (under the PDP) in 2019.
Umahi’s exit means the PDP is now the major opposition party in Ebonyi, a state it used to control.
The PDP, which will now work to keep the governor in check, has announced the constitution of caretaker committee to steer the affairs of the party in the light of Umahi’s exit.
“Following the dissolution of the Ebonyi State Exco of our great party, the National Working Committee (NWC) has constituted a state caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of the party in Ebonyi state in line with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP,” PDP national spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan said in a statement on Wednesday.
These are the members of the committee:
1. Hon. Fred Udeogu – Chairman
2. Barr. Luke Nkwegu – Secretary
3. Dr. Gideon Osi – Publicity Secretary
4. Hon. James Alaka – Organizing Secretary
5. Mrs. Amaka Igboke – Women Leader
6. Barr Mudi Irenede – Legal Adviser
7. Barr. Ibeshi – Youth Leader
“The decision of the NWC in this regard is pursuant to the powers conferred on it by the provisions of the PDP Constitution (2017 as amended),” Ologbondiyan said.
“All our leaders, members and teeming supporters in Ebonyi state and the southeast are by this guided accordingly,” the PDP mouthpiece said,
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chika Nwoba, has resigned his position because “I cannot work with Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi”.
One of Umahi’s commissioners also dumped the state cabinet after the governor told the PDP hierarchy he intended to join the APC. Umahi, insiders say, believes the APC would zone its presidential ticket to the South East.
As the presidency is expected to switch from Nigeria’s north to the south in 2023, the PDP is yet to decide on which geopolitical would fly its presidential ticket come 2023. The South-West, South-East and South-South are in contention.