Governor David Umahi

Some eminent Nigerians from on Thursday expressed divergent views over the recent defection of Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

They spoke in Abuja.

Umahi defected to the APC on Tuesday along with members of his cabinet.

For President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, Governor Umahi’s defection to the APC was an act of exercising his fundamental rights as a politician.

The elder statesman, who said it was not in his character to determine for a politician on what platform he or she could operate from, said Umahi “is free to do what he likes and is convinced about.”

“It is not in my face to determine for a politician what platform he will like to operate from. That is his fundamental right.

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“He is free to do what he likes and what he is convinced about,” he said.

According to Nwodo, I will not like to make any remarks on politics now because I had a non-political organisation.

“When it comes to the time when the Igbos will decide which side to go to, then you will have my view if I am still in office,” he said.

Also speaking, a chieftain of Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said the issue at stake was constitutional and a question of principle.

“The issue at stake is constitutional and a question of principle.

“I can’t understand this; he knows best. To me, it is not a valid and reasonable reason for defection,” he said.

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On his part, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said there was nothing surprising in what the governor had done “because our politics is largely about personal interest.

“Well, politicians have their ways. But the truth of the matter is that fundamentally, the political parties we are having now, there is no much difference between them.

“That is why it is very easy for somebody to be APC in the morning, PDP in the afternoon, another party in the evening.

“It is not about principle; it is about the interest the politicians are pursuing. So there is nothing surprising in what Umahi has done.”

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Umahi, on Tuesday at a press briefing in Abakaliki, the state capital, had said that his defection from the PDP to APC was to protest alleged injustice and marginalisation of the south-east by his former party since 1998.

The governor said he joined the APC because the party was amenable and working for the interest of the south-east.