Shivers in Enugu PDP over Buhari’s visit and members’ defection
•‘No threat to political dominance of the party
There are strong indications that a mass defection capable of impacting on the political dominance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State may happen soon.
The Guardian gathered over the weekend that some prominent PDP politicians in the state led by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani are on the verge of concluding arrangements to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) hopefully by January next year.
Sources claimed that the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state today would be used to further cement the emerging relationship as he is billed to meet with members of the party and those intending to join in the state.
Majority of those said to be talking with the national leadership of the APC are persons believed to have played prominent roles in the state during the immediate past administration of Sullivan Chime including former members of the National Assembly, former State House of Assembly members as well as those who served as cabinet members in the administration, among others.
Nnamani had earlier in the year disclosed that he was quitting PDP because the platform had abandoned “the path of its noble vision and values”, stressing that “the PDP as present is not the party I joined years ago to help change my country”.
Although, he had since then not announced his new party, his romance with the presidency clearly signposted that he would likely pitch tent with the APC should current discussions which sources said, “Is almost concluded.”
It was gathered that those itching to defect to the APC are allegedly disenchanted with the style of leadership of the party, which had shut some of them out of the scheme of things in the state.
For instance, they are said to be pointing at the recently held ward, local and state congresses in the state in which many of them were allegedly not allowed to make input or make recommendations for appointment into the party hierarchy.
“Rather we saw a situation where one man was asked to produce all those who hold position in the party from Enugu West another from Enugu East and another for Enugu North. They did not stop at that; majority of those who operate presently as Caretaker Committee Chairmen and even members of the Caretaker Committee were nominated by not more than three persons from the PDP in Enugu state. Such development does not show that we are part of what is happening. We have waited for over one year and the way it is, I don’t think many of us have future in the PDP. The chances are being limited”, an apparently frustrated member of PDP volunteered.
Former governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo; former Senator, Fidelis Okoro; Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu; as well as Mrs. Dorothy Nwodo, are among prominent politicians that have joined the APC in the state.
The development is said to be unsettling the PDP, as there are heightened fears that the move could threaten the chances of the PDP in the 2019 general elections in the state.
Efforts to get the comments of the State Chairman of the PDP, Augustine Nnamani on the development proved abortive, but the immediate past Publicity Secretary of the party, Dr. Okey Eze stated that nothing has happened to threaten the political dominance of the PDP in Enugu and even beyond 2019.
He said that PDP has remained formidable and that her dominance in Enugu politics was based on the confidence the people reposed on it as a party they could always trust, explaining that the party had done things according to its guidelines.
He said: “Those who have left the party in the state have not communicated us that they are leaving. But these are big time politicians whom you may not know where they are until the chips are down. I want to assure you that PDP is Enugu state and Enugu is PDP. We have been in this business since 1999 and no other party has won Enugu and till thy kingdom come, Enugu will remain PDP. The highest political office holder in PDP is from Enugu state. PDP has never failed the citizens of this state and therefore they have absolute confidence in PDP. So many had left before now and they later came back. PDP will continue to exist in Enugu state and will certainly retain the state in 2019”.