Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has condemned in a strong terms a recent news report that, saying Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State belongs to both PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing it as blatant falsehood packaged to tarnish the governor’s image and put a smile on the faces of the sponsors and author of the publication.
Umahi, who allegedly spoke when the people of Ishielu and Onicha local government areas of the state paid him Christmas homage, was quoted to have said “Stay in one place. Don’t run from here to there and from there to here. E no make sense. If you say you dey there (APC), know I am already there. If you go to APC, I am an APC member. If you go to PDP, I am there.
“I am the only person that does anti-party and nothing will happen. Any other person that does anti-party is gone. So, I am representing you in APC while you all stay in PDP. If you like, go and write it on social media.”
But, the PDP governors, in a statement yesterday in Abuja by the forum’s Director-General, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, said: “The news circulating online that our dear member-governor, H.E. Engr. David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State, said he belongs to both the PDP and APC is a blatant falsehood aimed at tarnishing the image of the governor and as well derailing him.”
Onaiwu alleged that the author of that publication acted in bad fate with malice and certainly with ulterior and sinister motives.
“On several occasions and at all times even in the face of stiff opposition and blackmail, Governor Umahi has always proven to be a committed party man.
“He loves the party; he loves the PDP Governors’ Forum, and the members of the forum in turn love and cherish the friendship and bond between them.
“There is no gainsaying that all this is about 2023, but we wish to add that there are more civilised and cultured ways to go about it. Yes, he like every other key players in the political arena, may have his ambitions and dreams at the end of his current service tenure in 2023.”
“He may aspire for any of the offices at the Presidential Villa, which of course he is constitutionally fit and qualified for. But that will certainly be on the platform of the PDP,” he said.
In view of this, Onaiwu said: “We have enough reasons and instances to believe that he may have been quoted out of context in the now-viral online publication. We smell mischief. We see the handiwork of detractors who are too scared of his credentials and constantly growing legacies so far attained in governance in Ebonyi State.
“We perceive falsehood from the pit of hell taken too far by those who are envious of the numerous gigantic projects his administration is handling; detractors who hate the fact that in the past four going to five years, Ebonyi State has now become a huge construction site for infrastructural development too numerous to mention.”
The director general added that “we wish to emphatically state that Governor Umahi is 100 per cent and above dedicated to the PDP.”
“We can boldly say that he has never and will never indulge in the profanity of playing double standards, not with a party like PDP which he holds dear to his heart. He is and will always remain a revered apostle of anti-party activities,” the statement pointed out.