PDP To Hold Emergency NEC Thursday Over Planned Defection Of Umahi

Board of Trustees meets Wednesday

• Umahi moves to woo Ikpeazu to APC

• Southwest PDP Replenishments, Endorses Makinde as Zone Leader

Against the alleged desertion plans of Governor Umahi of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) to the Congress of All Progressives (APC), the National Labor Committee (NWC) of the party would have called an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC). ).

The meeting, meeting THISDAY, is scheduled for Thursday, November 19 at the National Party Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja.

But, in preparation for Thursday’s emergency NEC, the Board of Trustees (BoT), the party’s highest advisory body, will also meet on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Consequently, Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi, who last Tuesday told a PDP NWC delegation led by National President Uche Secondus that he had decided to leave the PDP, is believed to have been making proposals for his Abia State counterpart, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to accompany him to the APC.

Meanwhile, in its attempt to reposition itself before the next elections, the Southwest leadership of the PDP has recognized the role of Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde in the region and agreed to work with him to advance the party.

Umahi was reported to have made his planned defection conditional on an agreement with the APC that the party’s presidential candidate would be divided into zones to the southeast.

He claimed that the PPD had been unfair to the Southeast since 1999, as it had deliberately refused to zone the party’s presidential ticket to the zone.

Furthermore, the area was said to be unhappy with the appointment of Peter Obi as the running mate of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate in the last general election.

A PDP source said Obi was an imposition as there were politicians in the southeast who could have given the area more credibility and weight in terms of attracting more votes.

However, THISDAY was informed that apart from his decision to defect to the APC, Umahi has also been making efforts to attract other PDP governors in the area to join him in the APC, with Ikpeazu being the first on his list.

According to a source who was aware of some of the undercurrents, “The move is to have at least three APC governors in the southeast and use it as a probing opportunity to convince APC leaders to give the APC presidential ticket. to the area. . “

Internal sources also claimed that this was with the consent of the leadership of the Pan Igbo sociocultural group, the Ohaneze Ndigbo.

“Election is like war and everything is good in any war. Since the PDP has deliberately refused to zone its presidential ticket to the zone, the Igbo will go with any political party that suits their interests. Since 1999, the Southeast has been a backbone of the PDP and nothing to show for it.

“South-South has produced the President of Nigeria in the person of Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo of the Southwest was President on the PDP platform for eight years. The Northwest had it at the end of Umaru Yar’Adua and although it did not win, the Northeast removed the presidential candidate from the PDP in the 2019 general elections. Something must be done with the Southeast for its massive support for the PDP, “said the source. .

It was for this reason that the PDP has convened an emergency meeting of the NEC to address this concern of the PDP in the Southeast.

A party chieftain and former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode last week described the report of Umahi’s planned defection as “troubling.”

Therefore, Fani-Kayode urged the national PDP leadership to pacify Umahi, as more party governors could follow the governor of Ebonyi to the APC.

He tweeted: “I urge the PDP leadership to do everything possible to ensure that he stays. Not only is he a deeply good man and an excellent governor, his contributions to the success of the PPD over the past 20 years on many levels are immeasurable and simply extraordinary.

“What makes things worse is that other governors may also contemplate leaving if they do so because they have many friends and goodwill among them. If that happens, it will affect our party’s chances in the 2023 presidential election in a very significant way. Once again, I ask the national president and the NWC of our great party to do everything possible to keep Umahi on board. “