Three days to the March 9 gubernatorial poll, 26 candidates of other political parties in Ebonyi State have dropped their ambitions and dumped their parties to join forces with Governor David Umahi of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Among the defectors were two House of Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress and a former Caretaker Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area, Anselm Enigwe, who earlier decamped from the PDP to contest Ebonyi North Senatorial District seat on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.
The two APC candidates, Amechi Nwenewo and Amechi Oda, were previously gunning for Ezza South and Ishielu East Constituencies respectively.
Speaking at the State Executive Council Chambers, where they were received by Umahi on Tuesday, the spokesman of the defectors, Ogbonnaya Okorie, said they decided to drop their ambitions because of the obviously intimidating performance of the Governor.
Okorie, who was also a former gubernatorial candidate of the Advanced Allied Party, explained that the candidates’ decisions were freely taken without any form of coercion but principally hinged on the need to sustain the charter of equity and fairness upon which the foundation of the State was laid.
He maintained that the Ebonyi South zone represented by Governor Umahi must be supported to finish his two tenures as enjoyed by his predecessors from the North and Central zones, adding that Ebonyi had never had it so good before now.
The defectors pledged to deploy all their arsenals towards ensuring the victory of the Governor come Saturday as well as vehemently resist all attempts by anybody or party to thwart Umahi’s deserved victory.
Part of the address reads: “But after critically appraising the developmental strides of Governor Umahi and in perfect agreement that he has done well in the first term and will do more in second term, we the undersigned governorship candidates of the underlisted political parties hereby resolve without any form of force or ill-will to step down for His Excellency, Engr. David Nweze Umahi and adopt him as sole candidate for the office of the governor of Ebonyi State, come March 9 gubernatorial election….
“In conclusion, we the undersigned governorship candidates of these political parties do hereby resolve that we will not go to Court or tribunal as the case may be, to challenge the election of Chief David Umahi when declared winner of the March 9 election but we shall fight for justice and stand by the people of the State in the case of obvious alleged planned manipulation of the election by the All Progressives Congress, APC.”
The two APC candidates in their separate speeches noted that they took the decision because they could not find any concrete subject for their campaign due to the all encompassing excellent performance of the PDP-led administration in the State, adding that it was extremely difficult for them to operate in the opposite direction.
The submission was also corroborated by the erstwhile Senatorial candidate, Enigwe, who extolled the all inclusive character of Umahi’s administration as worthy of emulation.
Enigwe stressed: “It is foolhardy for anyone to stand in the way of a moving train.
“I said I must come here today to join the moving train.
“It is not about politics but the interest of Ebonyians which is of paramount importance.”
Receiving the defectors, Governor Umahi commended their courage and spirit of gratitude concerning the modest achievements recorded so far in the State.
He enjoined them to resist any attempt to shortchange the will of the people while assuring them of full inclusion in the task of evolving a new Ebonyi State that all would be proud of.
Earlier, the Chairman of the State Inter-Party Advisory Council, Jennifer Adibe Nwafor, who led the group, explained that the candidates approached her expressing their intention to step down freely for the Governor.
Some of the Political Parties involved include ADC, AD, APP, AAP, ASD, ACPN, BNPP, CAP, DA, GPN, ACCORD, UPN and Labour Party.