A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Enugu State, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, on Monday said the party should screen politicians that wished to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC before granting them membership.
Okechukwu said this while reacting to the defection of a former Minister of Information and ex-governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, from the PDP to the APC last Friday.
Nwobodo was a senator and presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP.
Expressing reservations about Nwobodo’s defection to the APC, Okechukwu noted that the elder statesman was linked to the arms deal scandal, involving the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
Okechukwu, who pointed out that he was not opposed to new members joining the APC, said, “Political parties are like churches and mosques; they have open entry.
“However, there is the need to sieve the defectors.
“Is it not a paradox that those who are fingered in the Dasukigate scandal, people who rigged and mangled the 2015 general elections, are today wearing the badge of virtue and principle?”
Okechukwu added that some members of the APC in Enugu State, who were not happy with Nwobodo’s defection, were not worried about positions as insinuated by the former governor.
“We are not talking of position but pollution of our great party. He (Nwobodo) should first cleanse himself of the Dasukigate scandal.
“Don’t forget that the first cardinal programme of the APC is war against corruption; it is there in our manifesto,” he said.
Okechukwu alleged that Nwobodo used part of the money received from Dasuki to rig the 2015 elections in favour of the PDP in Enugu State.
He said Nwobodo entered the APC through the “window.”
According to him, Nwobodo has yet to register as an APC member at his ward.
“My take on his defection into our great party through the window is same with those who classified him as a fugitive of justice, given his involvement in the Dasukigate scandal.
“My investigation showed that up till date, he hasn’t registered in his ward; he was smuggled in by his allies and soul mates in our party, who connived with them in utilising the money from Dasukigate to allocate 14,175 votes to President (Muhammadu) Buhari, less than three per cent of the over 15,000,000 votes garnered by Mr President,” Okechukwu said.
He dismissed reports that the leadership of the APC in Enugu State had vowed to punish all those who opposed Nwobodo’s membership.
He accused the leadership of the APC in the state of deliberately turning the party into an arm of the PDP.
“Which leadership? Maybe those who not only squandered our campaign funds, but albeit are daily ignobly busy converting the APC Enugu State into a department of the PDP?
“Their imagination is that the recruitment of our elder brother and others will shield them from investigations,” Okechukwu said.
He accused Nwobodo of abandoning the principles which made him popular in the past.
Okechukwu added, “To be candid, Chief Nwobodo used to be our model: a principled politician and a Zikist. But in more than a decade, he has shed his principle and kind of descended into the arena.” (Punch)