Amah Baldwin, Enugu
The wave of defection continued in Enugu State on Friday as three top leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The defectors included Senator Jim Nwobodo, who was the first executive Governor of old Anambra State and Senator Fidelis Okoro, who was a senator between 1999 and 2007.
They declared for APC at a State APC stakeholders meeting convened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jeffrey Onyeama on Thursday.
Nwobodo was recently named by embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) among those who benefited from the multi-billion naira Armsgate fraud, currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former Governor denied any wrongdoing, saying that the N500 million released to him by the NSA was meant for PDP leaders in the South-East to mobilize support for the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan as President in the 2015 election.
Members and stakeholders of APC at the meeting were shocked when Chief Jim Nwobodo, Senator Fidelis Okolo, stormed the meeting.
The Minister who apparently is attending the meeting for the first time could not hide his surprise on the turn of events, as depicted in his speech.
Some APC stakeholders at the meeting were apparently surprised by the entrance of Nwobodo and Senator Okoro into the meeting.
The visibly angry stakeholders said: “These are Dasukigate fugitives and food is ready politicians. Are they not those who collected money from Dasuki and allocated 14,175 votes to Buhari as against over 500,000 votes they allocated to former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan?
“Is their no shame in the country again? They are shameless and the unfortunate thing is that they cannot win their wards. They will infect and contaminate the APC”, the visibly angry stakeholders said.
All efforts made by Dr Ben Nwoye, the state chairman of APC, who seems to be the only one aware of their entry to calm the frayed nerves of visibly angry members failed.
Making his declaration speech, Nwobodo urged members of the APC in Enugu State not to be deterred by the electoral losses they have suffered in the State in the past.
“You must always lose. What matters is the ability to rise again. I must condemn our former party, PDP. I know we had problems. I told our former chairman, how come did we allow five Governors to leave the party?
“I am not looking for a job. I am talking because I want peace. I want our people to be part of the Federal Government at the centre. I had a problem being an opposition Governor. I am not coming into APC because I want anything. I want our people to reintegrate and have our own share of the Federal Government resources”, Nwobodo said.
Nwobodo recalled that while he was in PDP, his wife had always been an active member of the APC, just as he pointed out that the slogan “change” did not start now but started in 1983 when he was an opposition Governor.
Earlier, a founding member of APC in Enugu State and former Secretary to State Government, Onyemuche Nnamani reminded the party of the need to keep tab of its members, stressing that those who worked for the party’s success must be recognized.
“We recognize our old members and open door for new ones. Peace essentially is guarded by justice. Without justice, we have peace of the graveyard. Those who don’t cherish peace are those who have not tasted the other side. Please, let us do justice. Let us carry everybody along”, Nnamani said.
Other top APC stalwarts at the meeting include the State Secretary, Major General Chris Eze (rtd), member representing Enugu State in the Board of Trustees (BOT), Brigadier General Joseph Okoloagu (rtd.), Deputy Chairman, Adolphus Ude, Publicity Secretary, Kate Ofor, Okey Ezea, Peter Okonkwo and the National Vice Chairman South-East, Emma Eneukwu.
Ex-Governor , Jim Nwobodo, Others Dump PDP For APC
Amah Baldwin, Enugu