Igbo Presidency: Buhari reacts to Umahi’s defection, says Governor took decision as matter of principle
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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday reacted to the defection of David Umahi, the Ebonyi State Governor describing him as a man of principle.
Buhari said he is proud of the Governor’s decision.
This is coming on the heels of several criticisms against the governor’s move to discard the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Umahi had accused the party of marginalising the Igbos. He also blamed the party’s indecision to zone the 2023 presidential position to the South-East.
He queried why it was difficult for the PDP to support people from the South-East of becoming the next president of the country.
“I have to lead the protest against the marginalisation of the Igbos by the PDP and I don’t have to consult anybody to lead such a protest,” he stated while justifying his action last Tuesday.
“I don’t want the PDP to collapse in the South-East but it can collapse itself in the zone if it does not heed the peoples’ advice to entrench justice, fairness, and equity…”
The Governor’s action has, however, received condemnations from the PDP and PDP chieftains including Nyesom Wike, the Rivers State Governor as well as former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayese.
“Gov Umahi defected to APC long ago before this unjustifiable move, which clearly has nothing to do with the interest of the Igbo nation,” Fayose stated.
But Buhari applauded the governor for his boldness and resolve.
“I am proud of Governor David Umahi for taking the bold decision to defect to APC in accordance with his conscience and principles rather than any external influence or coercion,” he stated.
“I commend his boldness for taking this courageous decision in a country where principles are in short supply among many. I know people might call him names, but that is the price men of principle have to pay for acting according to their conscience and convictions.”
It could be recalled that Umahi served as PDP State Chairman from 2009 to 2011. In 2011, he became the deputy governor of the Martin Elechi, a former Governor of the state.
He rode to become the Ebonyi State governor under the PDP in 2015 and was re-elected for another four years in 2019 until he made the new decision to join the ruling party – APC.