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I planned my defection with Sen. Pius Ayim – Umahi

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Ruth Oginyi

Chairman south east governor’s forum and governor of Ebonyi State Engr, David Umahi Sunday alleged that he planned his defection to APC with the former secretary to the Government of the federation Sen. Ayim Pius Ayim.

The governor who said that he also consulted other stakeholders in the State including the national assembly members before jumping out of PDP said that Ayim backed out of the plan when he ‘Umahi’ went to see President Muhammadu Buhari over the defection plan without carrying Ayim along.

He said after the wide consultations, all the Stakeholders gave their support to it, and even agreed to defect with him. Governor Umahi, spoke on Sunday, while addressing All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders at a meeting held at the banquet hall, old Government House, Abakaliki the Ebonyi State capital.

He further claim that the people fighting him were the same people who fought the former governor of the State, chief Martin Elechi in 2015.
Umahi claimed that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, and the first civilian Governor of the State and incumbent Senator, (PDP, Ebonyi North), Dr. Sam Egwu, have always being the people leading the war against his Government.

According Umahi, the plan was for Anyim and other leaders to join him in APC two weeks after he must have successfully defected.
He said the anger of the federal lawmakers and other leaders was that he outsmarted them by joining APC before them, revealing that they actually wanted to join APC before him.

His words, “they were planning to ambush me. They wanted to be the ones that would lead me like a child, but it is difficult to catch the air,” he said.
On the allegations making round that Anyim gave him N5 billion to prosecute his governorship election in 2015, Umahi said, “I was a deputy governor, somebody occupying the highest position from the South East (referring to Anyim) went and arranged for a N5bn naira loan for me to prosecute the presidential election for his government. I had to sell most of my properties to pay back that money.”

The governor however vowed to fight those who were fighting him, saying “let me tell you, I am not afraid of anybody but I respect everybody. But I have said that if God sent me, this will be the last fight in this state.
“All these people that came together to fight me, they collect contracts, they collect monthly pay, they collect vehicles. And when they are asked to bring people that worked for us, they will bring their wives, children and relations. Now, they are dressing words for us.

We are in chapter one, in Chapter two, I will publish all that I have done for the leaders of this state.”
Meanwhile, stakeholders and elders of Ebonyi State on Sunday expressed worry over the recent political tension in the State and vowed to resist all forces fighting the State Governor over his new political sojourn.

In a communique raised after the stakeholders meeting , read by Prof Mike Awoke, the commissioner federal complains commission, Abakaliki the Stakeholders commended Governor Umahi for taking the bold step to return Ndigbo to the main stream of Nigeria politics.

In the 8 point communique, the elders assured Umahi of their unflinching support.

It read, “We, the stakeholders and elders of Ebonyi state have risen from a meeting on the political development and security report on a plot to unleash mayhem in the state, and have resolved to issue the following communique:

“That we stand with the government of Ebonyi state ably led by Engr. David Nweze Umahi, on the decision to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

“That we consider the decision as a bold step towards mainstreaming with the party at the centre to savour the full complements of the Nation’s dividends of democracy for the good of Ebonyi State and the prosperity of her inhabitants.

“That we uphold the move to join the party at the centre as a decision in the best interest of South East, which shall once again launch Ndigbo to the centre- stage of national politics. We believe that those who are castigating this arrangement today will in future praise the foresightedness and forthrightness that informed this bold decision to mainstream with the party of national unity.

“That we are worried by the alarm raised by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi on the plot of some politicians to unleash terror and destabilize the security of the state and therefore reiterate that as stakeholders and elders of the state, we cannot fold our hands and watch the state go into flames again after the hard earned peace and harmony we achieved under the present administration.

“That we recount the killings and wanton destruction of property in the state between 2000 and 2006, especially the Ishielu killings, Ivo Killings, and the brazen destruction of property orchestrated by some highly placed politicians which left Ebonyi state into monumental socio-economic disaster.

“That as stakeholders and elders, we are constrained to warn that we will never again allow such evil to befall the state.

“That we warn those that have such plans to destabilize the peace and harmony in the state and those who think they are distracting the Governor, to desist forthwith as we shall mobilize all forces to resist them. Unfortunately, those who think they are distracting the Governor came late as our dear Governor has delivered in his promises to the people of the state.

“That we once again re-state our unwavering love, solidarity and support to our dear Governor and praise him for the unprecedented development in the state that has given us a bold face in the comity of states. We therefore urge him to remain focused and undaunted in his determination to transform Ebonyi state for the good of all.

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