VAT Dispute: Umahi Begs Governors To ‘Sheathe Their Swords’

 

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has appealed to state governors to sheathe their swords as the dispute over who should collect Value Added Tax (VAT) between the state governments and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) persists.

He believes if the FIRS is stripped of such responsibility, only a few states will be major beneficiaries while others will be left to suffer.

“Even if you have all the money in the world, you will not be able to use it. So, it is very important, and it is coming at a very bad time,” the governor said on Friday when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“I’m pleading with my colleagues to sheathe their swords, let us pass through this challenging moment before we start looking at who is right or wrong.

“We have to be our brother’s keeper; we have to see how we can grow the economies of the weakest states, otherwise we will breed a lot of insecurities to those super states; this is very important.”

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Reserves Ruling On Lagos Govt’s Application For Joinder Over VAT Dispute

A series of litigations and rulings have surfaced since the Rivers State government took the decision to test the legality of the collection of VAT by FIRS in various states.

 

‘Ebonyi Should Be Pitied’

The dispute started on August 9 when a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt granted the state government the right to collect VAT – an order that affected other states.

Although the case is before the Supreme Court, the latest is the reservation of the ruling of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on the application for a joinder filed by the Lagos State government.

But Governor Umahi proposed that before states should be allowed to collect VAT, the ‘weakest states’ must be provided with enough resources to give them a comparative advantage.

According to him, the Federal Government should be the major contributor to VAT while state and local governments should have 85 per cent and the remaining 15 per cent taken by the Federal Government.

“Now, the Federal Government and the super states will be the most beneficiaries, and a number of states will collapse and by the reason of rampant law,” the governor decried. “I am also encouraging the Federal Government to look the way of Ebonyi State, we are highly disadvantaged.

“You say we should grow the economy, with what? We don’t have money to grow the economy. We have agriculture, we have solid minerals, and our solid minerals are being stolen away. Ebonyi State should be pitied, we’re in a very difficult situation. We have a lot of our youths unemployed.”

Umahi Wishes Nigeria Gets Another ‘Leader With A Good Heart’ Like Buhari

 

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, is praying that Nigeria gets a leader with a good heart like that of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

He made the wish on Monday while briefing State House correspondents following a meeting with the President at the Aso Villa in Abuja.

The governor commended the President for his support towards the ‘mega projects’ in the South East, particularly the Second Niger Bridge.

He also highlighted the award of the eastern corridor of the railway line, which according to him, would fast-track commercial activities in the area.

A file photo of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

 

While reacting to the clamour for the Presidency to be zoned to the South East, Governor Umahi stated that it was too early and distracting to engage in discussions about the 2023 elections at this time.

He told State House correspondents after the meeting with the President that power rests in God’s hands alone.

The governor described the sit-at-home order declared by the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as the worst thing to happen to the South East.

He said that the directive would potentially cripple the economy of the region, stressing that fear and uncertainty about the security of the people enabled compliance.

Governor Umahi, however, disclosed that leaders in the region, in collaboration with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, were making efforts to aggregate the grievances of the youths in order to present them before President Buhari for action.

Ebonyi Commissioner Dies In Road Accident

A file photo of the late Commissioner for Infrastructure for Concession in Ebonyi State, Fidelis Nweze.

 

The Commissioner for Infrastructure for Concession in Ebonyi State, Fidelis Nweze, is dead.

Mr Francis Nwaze, the Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Media and Publicity, announced this in a statement.

He explained that late Nweze died in a ghastly motor accident that occurred on Tuesday, although he did not disclose the location where the crash took place.

Similarly, Nwaze did not ascertain if anyone was travelling with the late commissioner when the incident occurred, as well as whether there was any other person killed or injured as a result.

He stated that Governor Umahi has declared Wednesday as a public holiday in honour of the departed member of the State Executive Council, as well as Uche Okah, the Commissioner for Housing, in Ebonyi, who died weeks earlier.

“Consequently, the Governor has directed that all offices and markets should be closed while all flags are to fly at half-mast on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021, across the state,” the Governor’s media aide said in the statement.

According to Nwaze, Governor Umahi also directed all government officials to proceed on fasting to seek the face of God in the affairs of the state.

He also urged the Ebonyi State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to organise prayers and fasting for three days.

The governor asked the Christian body to break the fast by 4pm at Christian Ecumenical Centre every day, from Wednesday to Saturday.

He appealed to all government officials in the state to participate in all the activities and prayed for the peaceful repose of the souls of the late former Exco members.

Attacks: Gunmen Are Not Unknown, They Are Our Young Men, Women – Umahi

 

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, believes those responsible for the rising security challenges in the South East are not foreigners.

He stated that they were indigenes of the region, especially the young people who should protect the interest of the South East as future leaders.

“When you have infested firewood, the ants will definitely come over there,” the governor said on Tuesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He added, “Let our people come out to speak out that the unknown gunmen are not really unknown gunmen, they are our young men and women who will defend our land tomorrow; they should stop giving themselves to be killed.”

Governor Umahi, however, commended the security agencies in Ebonyi for their conduct in the face of provocation and attacks on government facilities.

He noted that the security agencies have yet to go after the perpetrators, as they were tied with protecting the facilities from further attacks.

 

‘Factors Destroying Our Land’

The governor decried the killing of some of the security operatives in the line of duty and defended them for returning ‘fire for fire’ as a means to defend themselves.

He stressed that the people of the South East were not known for criminal actions and such were beyond the Igbo culture.

This screengrab taken on May 13, 2021, shows a burnt vehicle after hoodlums attacked a Police Divisional Headquarters in the South East.

 

Governor Umahi lamented that he had done everything necessary to enlighten the youths and discourage them from engaging in criminal activities.

“Let our people stop confronting the security agencies. Without burning properties of the government, there will be no need for the deployment of security operatives and when they are deployed, you cannot tell them how to do the job when they are confronted with death.

“A lot of them have lost their lives; they have families. We have to also know that the lives of the security operatives are the lives of our brothers and sisters, we are killing ourselves and it should stop,” he said.

According to the governor, a majority of the youth do not know the cause they are fighting for and the insecurity in the region can be attributed to three factors.

“People are being brainwashed – they don’t even know what they are agitating for,” he stated as the first factor.

Highlighting the other factors, Governor Umahi said, “There are people who go to talismen to get all kinds of juju (charms) that no gun can kill them and yet, guns are killing them, then you have the hard drugs; these are the three factors destroying our land.”

Umahi Swears In Two New Judges, Warns Against Betrayal Of Trust

File photo of Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi

 

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has sworn in two new judges to join the ranks of judges in the state judiciary, warning against the betrayal of trust.

They are Nicholas Nwode and Emmanuel Ogbunnefi.

While congratulating the appointees on their successful swearing-in on Saturday, Umahi advised them to uphold their oath of office in the discharge of their duties.

Also sworn in was Eze Nwachukwu as a commissioner while Vincent Awoke and Joseph Nwonumaru were inaugurated as members of the State Civil Service Commission and Revenue Appeal Commission and Coordinators of Development Centres in that order.

Earlier, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Cletus Ofoke stated that the appointments met requisite legal provisions and were carried out to address the shortfall in the state judiciary.

On behalf of the appointees, Nwode thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve and pledged to justify the confidence reposed in them.

APC Grants Waiver To Umahi, New Members To Contest Elections

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, attends the APC NEC meeting for the first time on December 8, 2020.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has granted a waiver to all new members of the party and others planning to join its fold from various political platforms.

This formed part of the resolutions adopted on Tuesday at a virtual emergency National Executive Council meeting of the APC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

It is the first time the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, will attend the APC NEC meeting since he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in November.

The approval was to allow Governor Umahi and other new members of the party to contest for elections without having to wait for two years, as was done previously.

According to the party’s NEC, the decision to grant a waiver to new members is to encourage young people to join the APC.

Away from defection, the APC NEC resolved to extend the tenure of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party by another six months.

With the extension of the tenure of the committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, the members will continue with their duty until June 30, 2021.

The meeting also resolved to dissolve the party structures at the polling unit, ward, local government, zonal, and state levels.

However, members of the dissolved executives were asked to serve as the caretaker committee members.

Another important resolution adopted by the APC NEC was the expulsion of its immediate past National Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Etta.

Etta was expelled from the ruling party for not heeding the directive of the party leadership that all legal cases be withdrawn from the courts.

In his remarks, President Buhari urged party members to collectively work towards the sustenance of peace and promotion of more understanding within the party, with a view to consolidating on earlier successes and winning new members.

He noted that the decision of the party’s leadership to dissolve the National Working Committee and constitute a 13-member Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee on June 25 was well conceived as party members now enjoy a new atmosphere of peace.

The President, who acknowledged the defection of Governor Umahi and the return of many party stalwarts and their supporters, believes the APC is making progress as a party of choice for Nigerians.

Governor Buni, on his part, said the reconciliation effort in the party had yielded positive results, with many old members returning and new members being recorded, most recently the Ebonyi State governor.

He stated that following the President’s instructions, almost all pending cases in courts instituted by APC members had been withdrawn to create a “neutral ground’’ for discussions.

The governor noted that a timetable for membership registration and revalidation exercise would be released after initial sensitisation.

Buhari Chairs APC NEC Meeting, Asks Party To Keep Winning New Members

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja urged members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to collectively work towards the sustenance of peace and promotion of more understanding within the party, with a view to consolidating on earlier successes and winning new members.

He made the remarks on Tuesday at a virtual emergency National Executive Council Meeting of the APC at the State House in Abuja.

The President noted that the decision of the party’s leadership to dissolve the National Working Committee and constitute a 13-member Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee on June 25 was well conceived as party members now enjoy a new atmosphere of peace.

READ ALSO: APC NEC Extends Tenure Of Caretaker Committee

“Healthy debates are now taking place and the potential for organs of the party to affirm majority positions as the decision of the party is now possible.

“What is required now is for all of us, as leaders of the party, to maintain discipline and ensure that this new momentum is protected, sustained and that decisions of party organs are respected by every member,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.

President Buhari added, “Despite the challenge to restore peace in the party and the series of elections at hand, the fact that we have gained more members and that we are not losing members to the opposition under the present interim leadership indicates an improvement for the party.

“In fact, we have begun to win back our members who left us, and other notable political leaders are being attracted to our party. In this regard, I hereby acknowledge the return of many party stalwarts and their supporters, and particularly, His Excellency, David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State.

“This confirms that we are indeed making progress as a party of choice for Nigerians as we move towards the resolution of our leadership challenges.”

 

A Developed Nigeria

The President informed the meeting that the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, had presented a progress report which should guide deliberations and strengthen the capacity of party leaders towards resolving all outstanding issues.

He stressed the importance for them to remind themselves about the challenges that led to the decision to set up the caretaker committee, with the specific mandate of restoring peace in the party, conducting a bottom-up membership registration, organising a national convention, and mobilising the party for coming elections.

President Buhari said he was convinced that in the last five months since the appointment of the caretaker committee, the initiatives taken have brought a remarkably new atmosphere of hope in the APC.

He, therefore, appealed to all members to make the required sacrifices that would collectively restore a progressive and democratic political party that can nurture and give expression to the dream of building a strong, united, and developed Nigeria.

In his remarks, Governor Buni stated that the reconciliation effort in the party had yielded positive results, with many old members returning and new members being recorded, most recently the Ebonyi State governor.

He added that following the President’s instructions, almost all pending cases in courts instituted by APC members had been withdrawn to create a “neutral ground’’ for discussions, while a timetable for membership registration and revalidation exercise would be released after initial sensitisation.

“Many Nigerians have turned 18 and they will be interested in joining our party,” the governor said.

Umahi’s Defection: Our Strength In Ebonyi, South East Remains Intact – PDP

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its strength in Ebonyi State and the South East has remained intact.

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, stated this in his remarks at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Thursday in Abuja.

He made the statement in reaction to the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Secondus, who noted that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) swiftly took necessary steps to protect and guard its strength in the state and the region, stressed that the real reason that informed the governor’s defection would be exposed soon.

He condemned what he described as the provocative reason of allegation of injustice against the South East by the party, given by the governor for his action.

The PDP national chairman stated that while the party would not join issues with Governor Umahi in any way, it would not bow to any blackmail.

He also briefed the meeting about the outcome of some of the decisions reached during the last NEC which was held in February, as well as the efforts of the PDP in the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.

According to Secondus, one great lesson the party must learn from those elections is that it needs unity in order to be able to win future polls.

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, speaks about his defection at a press conference on November 17, 2020.

 

He stated that the party, drawing from past experiences, would leave no stone unturned in its quest to return to Aso Villa in 2023.

Before he began his speech, the gathering observed a minute’s silence in honour of those who lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent #EndSARS protest.

Read the full text of the PDP National Chairman’s speech at the meeting below:

ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP, PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 90TH NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) MEETING OF THE PARTY AT PDP NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, WADATA PLAZA, ABUJA, 19th NOVEMBER, 2020

Protocols

Preamble

With utmost humility and gratitude to God I welcome you all to this very important meeting of our great party. I welcome you specially because this meeting is coming after a COVID-19 pandemic that shook and still shaking the global community.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC as at November 2020, the disease had caused the death of over 1,154 Nigerians out of over 63,000 confirmed cases from 700,000 persons tested. Nearly 3,000 persons are still officially infected in the country.

This meeting is also coming in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS peaceful protests by the youths against police brutality and bad governance and the subsequent looting and destruction by hoodlums that hijacked the process.

At this juncture may I crave the indulgence of NEC of our party to stand for a minute silence in honour of all those who died from COVID-19, as well as in the recent national youth protest ..(may their souls and those of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen).

We are also praying for the quick recovery and God’s healing hands on those still suffering from the virus and the injured.

State of the Nation

Your Excellences, great leaders of our party, before the COVID-19 lockdown our country was already going through some socio-political and economic challenges all arising from the poor governance delivery by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The security problem of the country has refused to abate, instead, it has multiplied with no clear solution in sight.

President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government, under whose watch the situation got worsened and complicated has remained clearly helpless and incapable of providing the needed leadership.

#Endsars Protest And Its Fallout

Your Excellences, leaders of our party, a number of times both in NEC and other platforms PDP has had cause to cry out that the APC administration was doing nothing to improve the lives of the people.

That the youth unemployment situation in the country was growing at an alarming rate. We had also expressed deep concern at the growing human rights abuses in the system all due to the glaring indifference of the APC administration.

The consequences of all these came to the fore when the youths, last month poured out their anger on the country through a nationwide protest.

Even though the protest was triggered off by accumulated police brutality, particularly by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, it developed into a wider rebellion against injustice and poor leadership in the country.

Your Excellences, one significant fallout from the protest was the exposition of the poor management of the COVID-19 palliatives. Recall that our party had earlier cried out that the COVID-19 was becoming a huge window of corruption by federal government operatives.

Perhaps the most annoying aspect of the protest was that the causalities recorded, including the Tuesday 20th October night shooting of protesting youths at Lekki tollgate killing and injuring many, would have been averted if the government was responsive.

Instead, it took President Muhammadu Buhari almost two weeks of persuasion and cajoling from many Nigerians, including the Senate, before he agreed to address the nation on the issue after the damage was already done, youths killed by security agencies and property destroyed.

The protest opened a fresh dimension in the government-citizen relationship and underscored the fact that some fundamental actions are needed to get our polity going on the right track.

The Federal Government should address the fundamental issues raised by the youths rather than the counterproductive strategy of seeking to hound and intimidate perceived leaders of the peaceful protest by seizing their travel documents, freezing their accounts and arrests.

It must be emphasised that peaceful protest is a right in every democracy and guaranteed by the country’s constitution.

Party Affairs

When the current National Working Committee, NWC, under my watch came into office nearly three years ago, we based our programmes on 3Rs, to Reposition, Rebuild and to Regain.

I can confidently report to NEC that the programme is on course. We were able to reform the party ahead of 2019 general election enough to take us to victory if the APC regime had allowed the will of the people to prevail.

Number of PDP governors increased from 11 to 16 and would have been more if not for APC’s Electoral abracadabra in Osun, Kano, Kogi States and climaxed in Imo State with the shocking Supreme Court ruling.

At the National Assembly, as an opposition we were able to attract into our fold the Senate President and 16 senators, the Speaker and more than 34 House of Representatives members ahead of the 2019 elections, in addition to three seating state governors, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, Dr Sam Ortom of Benue and Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State.

All these are as a result of our repositioning of the party that made it a huge brand. We restored integrity to our primaries.

On the off-season elections, we won the governorship in Bayelsa and Edo. The Party also prevailed in several bye-elections in Sokoto, Cross River, Taraba and Rivers States.

In our last NEC meeting in February, some far reaching decisions were taken including the rationalisation of the party workforce to bring it to a realistic level as an opposition party.

I wish to report to NEC that this was successfully carried out by the committee headed by His Excellency, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State who did a good job and deserve commendation.

In our last NEC meeting, also a special committee to review and appraise the 2019 general election was set up. The Committee which is also headed by Governor Mohammed is already operational despite the delay caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Party Congresses

It was the reformed status of the party that saw us conduct the best ever presidential congress in this country where our candidate emerged transparently and all the other contestants congratulated the winner and resolved to support him.

It is also necessary to bring to the attention of NEC that despite the disruptions from the COVID-19 lockdown, we have been able to conduct congresses in most of the outstanding states and frantic efforts are also on ground to resolve some disputes arising from them in few states.

I must place on record, at this juncture, the cooperation we received from elders of our party in this regard particularly the members of the BOT.

Edo and Ondo States

Your Excellences, leaders, I have decided to isolate these two states because of their unique features.

The party was able to attract his Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State after he was shabbily treated by his party, the APC. He was able to get his second term for the September 19, 2020 governorship election flying our flag.

I must mention for appreciation the cooperation of party leaders across the country, particularly the Edo State members of our party for this success.

Also for commendation are the PDP Governors forum under the leadership of Hon. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, the Chairman of Edo State National Campaign Council, His Excellency Nysom Wike of Rivers State and his team, as well as the governors of the South-South states.

Also for special commendations is the Chairman of the Ondo State National Campaign Council and Governor Seyi Makinde and his team. In Ondo State, we had similar circumstance but were undone in the October 10 governorship election.

We, however, have some lessons to draw from what happened in both Edo Ondo states.

Looking Ahead

Before I conclude, your excellences, leaders of our party, may I declare to you that the party is also being futuristic drawing experience from the past. We know as a fact that transparent election under the watch of APC is not feasible with the current Electoral Act.

We are liaising with our very reliable members in the National Assembly to ensure that a fraud-free law is put in place ahead of 2023.

Within our family also, we are putting all hands on deck to ensure we enter the next election stronger as one united and harmonious family and to achieve this, I solicit the full and undiluted cooperation of NEC.

On your behalf also, we are continuing in our extensive consultations with critical stakeholders to ensure that no stone is left unturned for our return to Aso Rock.

Gov. Umahi’s Defection Issue

Your Excellencies, you must have read the eventual defection of PDP Governor in Ebonyi State, His Excellency Dave Umahi to the ruling APC on Tuesday and his provocative reason of allegation injustice against South East by the party.

We have refused to join issues with him in any way, but we cannot bow to any blackmail. What I can report to NEC is that the strength of our party in Ebonyi State and South East is intact and the NWC has taken necessary steps to protect and guard it. The real season that informed this decision will soon be exposed.

Conclusion

As I conclude this address Your Excellences, leaders of our great party, may I report to you that our beloved country is in a very bad shape, the populace are groaning in pains and the government response to this is heaping further pains on them.

This country is sliding into bankruptcy, but the government is instead embarking in endless borrowing with no accountability on the already borrowed ones.

Federal Government themselves just reported last week that 428 agencies would not be able to pay salaries this November because of underfunding.

NEC may, therefore, wish to join other voices in charging the APC Federal Government to (show the cards).

#Stop borrowing,

#Stop mortgaging our future,

#Account for borrowed Funds

#Stop the Persecution of #Endsars Youth Protesters

#Respect Nigeria Youths

#Give Nigeria Youths a Voice.

#No to censoring of Social media

Indeed, this APC administration has not treated our youths fairly. This APC government branded them lazy, use them and then victimise them.

Issues that have to do with the development of our youths have been relegated to the background. The gains achieved by our youthful population in every sector of the life under PDP have all been destroyed by the APC which is doing everything to frustrate youthful attainments.

We must as a party therefore, work hard to ensure that the Nigerian youths are once again, given a voice in our country.

Our party will as a matter of policy restore the hope of our youths. We hereby invite the Nigeria youths to avail themselves of the ample opportunity in our party to participate in the political process ahead of 2023 election.

At the last count Nigeria debt profile is showing over 31 trillion naira a lot of it misappropriated.

While borrowing in economics is not bad, it depends on what the borrowed resources is being channeled for. With the unprecedented corruption in the system under APC watch, it would be difficult to see these borrowed funds properly deployed.

Amidst the frightening insecurity in the country accompanied by mass killings that has set fears on the people, what you get from government is multiple tariffs- Electricity, VAT, fuel hike and more, with its operatives indulging in lies and propaganda.

The worrisome situation here is that Nigerians do not really know who is in charge in the country today. It appears that governance in our country today is in autopilot with agencies and operatives in a free world harassing and intimidating perceived enemies.

Your Excellences, the situation generally is frightening and disheartening, but we must not despair because God is not finished with this country and with strong faith in him, we shall prevail.

Thanks for listening and God bless.

Prince Uche Secondus

National Chairman

‘We Have Moved Into Blessings,’ Umahi Says As He Officially Joins APC

 

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has said that his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a ‘movement into blessings.’

The governor said this on Thursday during his official defection to the APC.

“Therefore today, we moved into APC.

“The reward for freedom, freedom from dictatorship is here. We are free at last and we have moved into blessings,” the governor said.

Umahi also stressed the need for cooperation to build the nation and urged his counterparts in the south-east to join him in the APC.

According to him, the South-East zone is tired of empty promises and needs action instead.

“This new house that is built on trust, justice, equity, and fairness is going to accommodate all of us. Together we are stronger.

“South-East we all move to APC. We have to launch together, we are tired of empty promises. We want action, in the now,” Umahi said.

READ ALSO: Ebonyi Gov Umahi Officially Defects To APC

The official defection which was held in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capita had dignitaries and stakeholders of the APC in attendance.

They include former Senate President Ken Nnamani; Chairman, APC National Caretaker Committee who is also the governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Jigawa State Governor, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar; Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu and Niger State Governor,  Abubakar Bello, among others.

Other present at the official defection include the Minister of Justice/Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Affairs, Mohammed Sarki Abba, and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq.

Umahi had earlier on Tuesday, November 27 dumped PDP for APC after weeks of speculation that he had taken the decision to dump the opposition party for the ruling party.

He also faulted the claims that he left the PDP to achieve his ambition of becoming the president in 2023.

Umahi’s Defection: PDP Asks Buhari To Get Serious With Governance

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari having a chat with Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the comments by President Muhammadu Buhari on the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) smacks of dereliction of duty and “political scavenging” by the Presidency.

It believes a statement credited to the Presidency has exposed how the nation was brought to its knees as compelling demands of the office are made to suffer because of trivial issues.

In a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP accused President Buhari of abandoning the responsibilities of his office and focusing on the partisan adventure of an individual.

Noting that such an action was a misplacement of energy, it stressed that it has further exposed the President’s alleged incompetence and poor understanding of the tenets of leadership, statesmanship, and expectations of his office.

 

Show More Seriousness

“The PDP holds as appalling that the Buhari Presidency is showing more urgency in commenting on political adventures rather than expressing concern on the reported kidnapping of 12 senior police officers by bandits.

“The party observed that if President Buhari had used the same urgency he displayed in commenting on Governor Umahi’s defection to address the issue of police brutality, the crisis situation, death, arson, destruction of public and private property witnessed in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest would have been averted,” the PDP said in the statement.

Ekiti PDP Holds Governorship Primary Election
A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

It added, “Indeed, if Mr President had shown similar urgency towards the demand for the rejigging of our national security architecture, we would have averted the escalated insurgency, kidnapping and bloodletting ravaging our country today.

“In the same vein, if President Buhari had used the same urgency to respond to the call to reorganise his economic team, end the corruption in his government, as well as address the frightening upsurge in unemployment under his watch, our nation would not be in this sorry state as the poverty capital of the world.”

The PDP also alleged that by his action, President Buhari has shown that he has no time for governance, saying that was out of sync with the social and political reality in the country.

It described the President’s reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection as a disconnection from the expectations of Nigerians, particularly at this trying time.

The party, therefore, urged the President to wake up and show more seriousness to the duties of his office, rather than engaging in “personal political enterprise of individuals”.

It also asked the President’s handlers to stop ridiculing his office.

Wike Slams Umahi, Says Nobody Should Threaten Anyone Just For Personal Gain

 

 

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has criticized his Ebonyi State counterpart Dave Umahi for defecting to the All Progressives Congress and the claims of injustice he made against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him, apart from defecting based on selfish reasons (his 2023 presidential ambition), Governor Umahi had also been threatening the party (PDP).

Wike said this during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday when asked if the PDP is willing to make adjustments regarding claims that there were better opportunities for consultations in the APC.

“Assuming the party even wants to do that, I will not be a party to it,” he said.

“Nobody threatens anybody just because you want to gain something. Which means he has been working with the APC.”

Read Also: ‘We Won’t Defect To APC,’ Ebonyi PDP Federal Lawmakers React To Umahi’s Defection

Wike further explained that Governor Umahi had threatened the PDP by insisting that he would leave the party if it fails to zone the 2023 presidential ticket to the South East.

“One state came up to say ‘if you don’t give South-East the Presidency’, we will leave the party,” he said.

The Rivers State Governor who said there is nothing wrong in being ambitious or in seeking the presidential ticket for the South East, said the problem was the manner in which Governor Umahi went about it.

He said, “You don’t do it in a way that you say ‘if you don’t give us, we will leave’. Now, the place where you are going to, have they come to tell you that they are giving you the Presidency?”

He also dismissed the comments Umahi made, describing him as controlling and a dictator.

Despite his criticism of Umahi’s actions, Wike described him as his friend who knows him very well”.

“He can say whatever he wants to say today. If there is one person who has supported Umahi very well; h he knows it is me,” Wike said.

He, however, restated his displeasure with what he said is Umahi’s decision to “threaten the party, dictate to the party”. He also wondered how it is possible for Umahi to act as though he is the only qualified person to run for presidency in the South East.


Watch The Full Video Below

‘We Won’t Defect To APC,’ Ebonyi PDP Federal Lawmakers React To Umahi’s Defection

 

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ebonyi National Assembly caucus on Wednesday reacted to the defection of Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmakers said no Federal lawmaker in Ebonyi State is following the governor by leaving the PDP for APC.

Briefing journalists at the National Assembly, the spokesperson for the group Senator Sam Egwu maintained that they remain proud card-carrying members of the PDP.

“Not a single member of the PDP Ebonyi caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to APC.

“The three Senators and five house of Representatives members remain proud card-carrying members of the PDP, the platform under which we contest and won elections in 2019,” Egwu said.

   RELATED:

 Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi, Defects From PDP To APC

I Didn’t Join APC For Presidential Ambition, I Will Quit Politics In 2023, Says Umahi

My Only Sin In PDP Is That I Refused To Castigate Buhari – Umahi

The lawmakers stressed that they consider it ‘indecent’ for the Governor to give the party conditions in a bid to secure zoning.

Although Governor Umahi has the right to belong to whatever political party he chooses, the lawmakers said he should be mindful of a court ruling that political office holders are not allowed to defect to another political party if there is no division in his original part.

Umahi on Tuesday dumped PDP for APC after weeks of speculation that he had taken the decision to dump the opposition party for the ruling party.

He, however, faulted the claims that he left the PDP to achieve his ambition of becoming the president in 2023.

He told reporters on Tuesday in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital that the insinuation that he joined the APC with such an intention was nothing but false.

One of the reasons given by the governor for his defection is that the South East region has suffered what he describes as injustice in the PDP.

The governor disclosed that the decision to leave the PDP for the APC was to protest against what he described as the injustice of the opposition party to the South East.