By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The member representing Orumba North and South federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Ben Nwankwo has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
The four-time lawmaker said he decided to move to the party having taken time to analyse the achievements of Governor Willie Obiano in just three and half years, and being convinced that the governor was worthy of the support of Anambra People.
This is coming at a time when the factional chairman of the PDP in Anambra State, Prince Ken Emeakayi who was earlier suspended for a period of four years has also pledged support for Obiano, promising that his faction of the party would work for the APGA candidate.
Hon Ben Nwankwo who declared his support for Obiano during a rally at Orumba South local government area said he was joining APGA with over 20,000 members of PDP in the local government loyal to him.
He said by his defection, having been the only strong politician in PDP in the local government, the entire local government would now be for APGA and also work for her candidate, Chief Willie Obiano.
Earlier, a former deputy governor of the state, Mr. Okey Udeh said the shortest way to attain governorship seat was by the people of Anambra South where Orumba falls was to vote Obiano who is from north to serve out his tenure and return power to the south.
Similarly, Former chairman of the PDP, Emeakayi yesterday led a faction of the PDP in a rally, where they protested the candidature of Obaze, saying that it would rather adopt the APGA candidate for the election than work for him (Obaze).
The party, THISDAY gathered, had been in serious crisis, leading to some of its members dumping it, just as Hon Nwankwo who pulled out of the party, citing alleged injustice.
Emeakayi who had in a previous rally given theÂ national chairman of PDP, Ahmed Makarfi five days ultimatum to substitute Mr. Oseloka Obaze as the party’s candidate or risk the party members withdrawingÂ its support for him as he was not a registered member of the party.
Speaking with journalists yesterday at the Women’s Development Centre after addressing a rally of party supporters to adopt Obiano as their candidate, Emeakayi said the five days ultimatum given to the national chairman had expired, and there was need to take a stand.
“We are officially adopting the candidate of the APGA, Chief Willie Obiano as our candidate for the Anambra governorship election. We consulted widely before arriving at this decision. We took into cognisance the fact that in the 2011 and 2015 presidential election respectively, APGA adopted the PDP candidate, Jonathan as their candidate.
“Today is payback time, and we have decided that we are adopting the APGA candidate as our candidate. This is because the candidate PDP is fielding is not a legitimate candidate. He is not a member of our party, his name is not in our register and he knows that.”
Emeakayi said supporting Obaze would be efforts in futility as he would surely be removed if he eventually wins the election as there was enough evidence to show that he was not qualified to contest the election.
Obiano while reacting to the endorsement at Orumba South said there was need for Anambra people and the entire South East to have a common identity. He said APGA had shown that it was truly an Igbo party, and that he was not surprised that people were now trooping into the party.
The director general of Willie Obiano Re-election committee and former national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh said it was a surprise that at a time when every ethnic group was trying to identify with their own political party, some political elements in Anambra were introducing alien parties. He called on the people to resist them and embrace APGA which he said truly belonged to Igbos.