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APC chief silent over purported defection of Ayade, Ugwuanyi, Umahi, as Timi Frank dumps party

By Niyi Bello and Adamu Abuh, Abuja
04 August 2018   |   4:30 am
As far as the National Vice Chairman, South-South, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Hilliard Eta is concerned, the purported moves by three state governors...

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (middle), winners of the Young MSME Award of the Year, Christabel and Blossom Otu Effiong, their mother, Grace Otu Effiong, with Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State at the maiden edition the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Award 2018 at State House Conference Centre, Abuja PHOTO: NOVO ISIORO

• APC Expecting Five PDP Governors, Says Jibrin
• Rumour Untrue, Counters Olafeso

As far as the National Vice Chairman, South-South, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Hilliard Eta is concerned, the purported moves by three state governors of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to defect to the party still falls within the realm of speculation.

Reports making the rounds have it that Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), as well as Senator Godswill Akpabio, who is the Senate Minority Leader, have concluded arrangements to defect to the APC.

Eta, who claimed ignorance of the unfolding development, told The Guardian that he would not rush into baring his mind over an unsubstantiated story.

Meanwhile, the immediate past deputy national publicity secretary of the party, Timi Frank, has dumped the party.

Frank, who is yet to disclose the party he would pitch tent with, claimed that he was left with no option than to leave the party due to poor governance and the absence of internal democracy in the party.

According to him: “I was one of the early joiners from the PDP, having been dissatisfied by the unsustainable trajectory of the last administration, which I felt no longer possessed the political will to make Nigeria and her democracy reflect the lofty dreams of its founding fathers, which among others, was to unleash the untapped potentials of the Nigerian citizenry, especially her vibrant youth population, ever eager to take their place in the economic and socio-political advancement of the country.

“My decision to join the APC then was based on its promise that things were going to change for the better.

“Regrettably, however, rather than lead the country with egalitarian principles that would under-guide the nation’s quest for development and progress in the mould of her counterparts in the international community, the country has taken a deep plunge backwards under the leadership of the APC, with high level of tyranny, victimisation, harassment, and political desperation.

“What we thought had been consigned to the era of military dictatorship in the country is again rearing its odious head. Although I am a direct victim of injustice and intolerance in the party, I continued to speak out, because I have zero tolerance for injustice anywhere.

“While I consider the APC as a failed project, I am ready again to stoop and contribute my humble quota to the progress and development of this country by joining hands with progressive forces to rescue it from collapse, poverty, corruption, tyranny, ignominy and undemocratic leadership.

“Let it be clear that I am stepping aside from the APC to be the voice for the majority of voiceless Nigerians, who daily suffer the bad policies and highhandedness of this administration.

“I want to continue my fight to ensure a better Nigeria, where injustice, corruption, killings and bloodletting will cease to exist.”

Amid unconfirmed rumours of the defections of the governors, a member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has disclosed that several high profile politicians were on their way to the ruling party.

Jibrin, who had a running battle with the leadership of the Lower House over his attempt to expose some alleged corrupt dealings leading to his suspension, told The Guardian in Abuja, yesterday, that apart from those on their way to join the APC, some governors in the opposition parties have actually accepted to work for the success of Buhari’s re-election next year.

“As people are going, people are also coming in. But because it is news that people are leaving the ruling party, they make it big news. A lot of other people from even the opposition are coming in.

“At the moment, not less than four to five PDP governors are working in a cross-party arrangement, working to support the APC.”

Although he declined to name the PDP governors, Jibrin said the unfolding politics in Nigeria has created a situation where serious- minded politicians are looking for ways to better the lot of Nigerians and also creating space for their regional political development, saying: “As time goes on, you will get to see how these things will shape out.”

But a PDP chieftain and the party’s Vice Chairman, Southwest, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, countered that the rumour of the PDP governors’ defection was only “lies from the pit of hell coming from idle minds who are still in the dark about the emerging political realities in Nigeria.”

Olafeso told The Guardian in Abuja that he was with all the politicians mentioned in the rumour the previous evening and “nothing could be farther from the truth than the idle rumour that they are planning defection.

“No politician worth his name would contemplate leaving the growing PDP for the sinking ship of the APC.”