By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Former National Secretary and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Rex Onyeabor has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onyeabor, who was also the former coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organisation in Enugu state during the 2015 general elections formally joined the APC on Sunday at his country home, Ugboka, in Nkanu East LGA of Enugu state.
Onyeabor’s defection came as the people of Udi North in Udi local government area of the state, home council of former governor of the state, Sullivan Chime expressed their opposition to any attempt by the former governor to contest the Enugu West senatorial seat against the Deputy Senate President.
They vowed to work against the former governor who has reportedly perfected plans to join the APC having dumped the PDP two weeks ago.
Rising from Udi North Leaders’ forum at Awhum on Sunday, the people of Udi north lamented Chime’s neglect of the area to the extent that he never visited the area for the eight years of his administration.
They cited the construction of the long stretch of Opi-9th mile-Oji River old road which Chime only commenced at 9th mile to Oji, abandoning the Udi north section of the colonial road.
Part of the communique reads: “Against these backdrops of innate and calculated slavery status that characterised the plight of Udi North since 1999, we view Sullivan’s decision to come to Udi north and declare his joining the APC as an insult to the sensibility of Udi north and a deliberate attempt to put the people of Udi north on collision course with the people friendly government of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and worthy representations of both Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Hon. Dennis Amadi.
“We stand in clear and unequivocal terms that Udi north has never ever supported any other party but PDP and this we vow to continue doing in support of Ugwuanyi, Ekweremadu and Amadi.”
Also speaking at the gathering, Hon. Amadi representing Udi/Ezeagu federal constituency, Marcel Njeze, a former lawmaker in the state as well as Chief Tahir Ochi declared their opposition to any attempt to railroad the people of the area to the opposition APC.
But on his part, the former PDP National Secretary, Onyeabor said he was dumping the party because of the lingering crisis which had polarised the party, expressing saying that the party may not survive her current protracted crisis.
“Apart from being former national secretary, I was BOT (Board of Trustee) member which is the highest advisory body in PDP and I attended a lot of meetings, virtually every meeting, reconciliation meeting.
“There are some people who are still there attending meeting to reconcile; you see what they are doing now, Modu Sheriff and Makarfi (Muhammed), and recently Jonathan and Seriake (Dickson); it is not likely that an agreement will be reached very soon.
“So I look at all the efforts we have made in the past trying to restructure the party, trying to bring the party out of the melancholy or depression of defeat, it has not worked; that’s why I decided to pick my bag and take a walk,” he said.
Aside from that, Chief Onyeabor said that APC provided the best platform for changing Nigeria for now, noting that though APC might not be the best party in the world but that it was better than other parties in Nigeria today.
On what might have prompted the mass exodus of notable Igbo politicians into APC, the former PDP scribe explained that Igbos had now seen the light and that given what he knows about PDP which he was not ready to make public, he now believes APC was the best choice for the realisation of Igbo aspirations in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Enugu state chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye expressed excitement for the influx of political bigwigs into his party saying that they were joining not only to help win elections but to also organise the party as some of them are political
technocrats and bureaucrats.
“I’m excited and I’m honoured to be part of the political revolution in Enugu state. We have never had a strong opposition in Enugu state since 1999. The entire South East have had other parties as members of the State Assembly, Senate or Reps, but Enugu state remained under PDP completely. It took men like these to ensure that that happens”, he concluded.