No fewer than 100 members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have officially defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State, Daily Post reports. .
The defectors, led by Mr. Emeka Udeh, were welcomed yesterday at Eke Ward, in Udi Local Government Area by the State Executive members of the APC, led by the party’s Deputy Chairman, Hon. A.C Udeh.
The minister for foreign affairs, Mr. Jefferey Onyeama is from Eke town.
Other top members of the party who were at the event included its State Secretary Major General Chris Eze (Rtd.) and Brigadier General Joseph Okoloagu (Rtd.) as well as the publicity secretary of the APC leadership caucus in the South-East, Mr. Osita Okechukwu.
In a speech, Mr. Okechukwu said the defection “has signaled the exodus from the PDP and other political parties in Enugu State to APC.”
He, however, added that “whereas, we do not want one party state in Nigeria, we welcome you for your humility and candour in joining the party from the grassroots – Eke Ward. The Ward is the primary unit and the soul of the party.
“We are also happy that you’re not among those PDP stalwarts who ignobly utilized the Dasuki-Gate-Bazaar to allocate paltry 14,175 votes to Buhari in the Presidential Election in Enugu State and paradoxically today are joining the APC through the backdoor.
“We shall convey your gracious entry to the national leadership of our party and in particular to President Muhammadu Buhari, who has initiated in high tempo the process to revamp Enugu Coal.”
He recalled that President Buhari made the pledge to revamp Enugu Coal on January 10th this year at Okpara Square Enugu, stressing that “it is this campaign pledge that he is set to redeem by jump-starting the project in 2016.”
He described the criticisms that which had trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 Budget deficit of N2.2 billion as misplaced, arguing that “Nigerians will harvest from President Muhammadu Buhari’s high profile ratings by the international community.
“This is the political capital which will earn Nigerians the premium of attracting funds for critical infrastructure. Both local and international investors have implicit confidence that Buhari will not squander their money. It’s his credibility which attracted the investors of the Coal Project.”
“Note that Buhari is revamping Enugu Coal, which two of our illustrious sons – Professors Barth Nnaji and Chinedu Nebo, who were ministers under the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, more or less ignored in four years while heading the Power Ministry.
“Is it not an irony that a Hausa/Fulani man from the North is fixing Enugu Coal which our brothers can’t fix? Yes, it is a profound lesson to those who play ethnic-card, that is, those who believe that good things can come only from our sons and daughters. History is not their witness as demonstrated in this instance.
“In three years’ time the rapid development of Enugu Coal will rejuvenate Enugu status as original Coal City, and provide massive employment contrary to the wild dreams of those who play ethnic-card.
One challenges those who canvas Biafra today to explain why two ministers from Enugu State and the former president an adopted son; failed to fix Enugu Coal inspite of billions of Naira budgeted? Same squandermania and abandonment of projects happened to 2nd Niger Bridge and federal roads in the South East.
“In the same vein, how come that Senator Anyim Pius Anyim the then Secretary to Government of the Federation, and Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala the then Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy were there when Owete/Loko Bridge nearing completion and host of others were awarded on contract and almost fully paid by the federal government and the 2nd Niger Bridge was lately handed over to Julius Berger to source for fund?
“Ndigbo therefore should think out of box, count our blessings in Nigeria, and say capital no to demagogues who want to reverse the achievements of our hard working and enterprising people in every town in Nigeria to be extinguished.
“To me the salvation of Nigeria has commenced with an incorrigible patriot, and man of integrity. Let’s support
“Mr. President so as not only to benefit from his good governance, but to succeed him after eight years; going by the zoning convention. This is a better option, as we cannot act the rodent inside the hole for donkey years, only to quarrel when it is about being rescued”, he added.
Okechukwu further stated that “in the public domain, there is the law and the convention. Law has its legal weight, and written; while convention has its moral weight and mostly unwritten. Most of the time convention prevails in national consensus building.
“The historical fact is that in 1999, the Northern elite in their enlightened patriotic interest zoned presidency to the South, after eight years the presidency went back to the North, though unfortunately breached by providence. It is back in the North and will go South in eight years – 2023 to be exact.
“Accordingly, if we play our cards well, stop the agitation for secession and support Mr. President, then we are better placed to harvest the moral instrument of the zoning convention albeit the turn of the South. It arms us with the moral high ground to remind our South West brothers who have had eight years and our South South brothers who have had five years since our return to civil rule in 1999 in Aso Rock Villa, that equity and natural justice bestows the presidency on us.
“We then based on equity and natural justice demand validly our turn. With such golden premise we don’t even talk of since independence, which replenishes and makes our case better, but this cannot be achieved if we continue to agitate for Biafra.
“President Buhari has fixing of federal roads nationwide in his agenda, and federal roads in the South East pricks conscience, so is the 2nd Niger Bridge and other federal projects. Some have asked where he will get the money to execute these projects in the midst of rapid dwindling oil revenue. He answered this question in his 2016 Budget Address.
“Mr. President said he will borrow N984 billion from domestic market and N900 billion from foreign market, plug leakage in agencies like the NNPC, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Service and in addition may consider to utilize Sovereign Guarantee for infrastructure, which is a keystone in many countries for Special Purposes Public Interest Projects.”