By Asunmogejo Yusuf Olawale
No doubt, one common attribute that can be generalised of Nigerian politicians is incessant cross-carpeting and shifting cultivation from one political party to the other. Political surprises are inevitable in Nigeria, mostly when elections draw nearer. These political permutations have, over time, been as a result of political alignment and realignment forces within the political class.
This is no different from what was witnessed in the Ebonyi politics, where the ruling PDP lost its governor, Dr. Umahi, to the opposition APC.
Many political observers across-the-board did not find it as a surprise because some of the allegations leveled against the PDP as regards lack of fairness, justice, and equity has been publicly debated overtime.
Frankly, the South East region has always been for the PDP since the return of democracy in 1999. Even against all odds, they have ever pitched their tent with the PDP. What more can be said of this kind of loyalty from the Southeast people.
Firstly, the political strength and influence of the now APC governor cannot be overemphasized. He is well accepted among his colleagues in other parts of the region. His political power got him the title of chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum.
Recall, in the events which led to the 2019 election, Umahi’s political influence and acceptance saw many opposition leaders and party candidates surrendered to him. Many political analysts have posed him to be a man that can make things happen.
Based on statistical facts, the defection of Umahi has only received about 45% acceptance from the PDP caucuses and political groups in the state. Only about 85% of his political appointees and more than 10,000 PDP faithful in Amaigbo Ward, Afikpo South Local Government Area, have moved in with the governor. This is indeed politically weak as political strength is built around numbers.
On the other hand, several political groups of the PDP have openly denied the governor.
The PDP senators weren’t left behind as they declared on behalf of the National Assembly Lawmakers their dissociation from the governor’s decamping. They also vow to stay in the PDP and wrestle power from the Ebonyi State APC.
Now that the two calculative propositions seem not to favour the governor, more is expected of him if he is interested in securing the South East’s interest in the APC. With his political movement in recent days, there is much optimism from the political class that more storming wave will rock the PDP caucus in Ebonyi and states like Anambra and Abia.
As it stands now, the 2023 general election is fast approaching, and much is still expected to play out in the political sphere. With the APC’s political movement to strengthen the APC in the Southeast region and PDP’s stride to secure its territory, Does Umahi have the political influence to compound the PDP headache?
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