The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has urged political actors in opposition parties to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or remain ‘hungry’.
He said this in Abuja on Friday in reaction to the defection of David Umahi, Ebonyi State Governor, who recently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC.
Speaking with journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Uzodinma said Mr Umahi “quickly understood that joining the ruling party will take his state out of hunger”.
“Once you believe in Nigeria and you have a pan-Nigeria attitude, of course, you will go for a national party. There is no gainsaying that if you are not with the national party, and you choose to be in opposition, of course, you will continue to fast until God answers your prayers.
“But we that are in the ruling, of course, what it will take us to solve certain problems may be different from what it will take somebody who is not very close to the source of authority to solve his own problems.”
By implication, the governor possibly meant the federal government, controlled by the ruling APC is favourably disposed to states it controls hence deploys more funds to settle their challenges to the detriment of others.
It also gives credence to arguments that partisan politics in Nigeria lacks ideology but is underlined by monetary and political patronage hence the ease with which politicians switch parties.
‘APC, best political party’
Speaking further, Mr Uzodinma said the APC is a national party and hoped that others would join the party.
“There is no way you can compare what your people will get in an opposition party to what they will get from the ruling party. APC is the ruling party which has access to the federal government. And because our preaching and gospel has always been how to unite Nigeria, how to encourage national unity, national integration, and national cohesion.
“It will be more cost effective to have my people, the people of South-east see reason and join APC, the national party. I’m very optimistic that gradually, we will get there. It’s a matter of convincing our people, which we are doing.”
He said “the APC is the best political party with the best political manifesto, programmes and government in power.”
“What we are doing in the South-east as a party is carrying the message of the party. Before this time, some of us beloved that we should have marketed the ideologies and policies better than the past leadership did. What we are trying to do is to explain to our people the need to see that this Nigerian project belongs to all of us and if you jump out of the train, don’t accuse anybody of pushing you out of the train.”
Mr Uzodinma became Imo governor last year following a controversial judgement of the Supreme Court.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was the former governor of Imo State and then declared Mr Uzodinma as the new governor in January.
The apex court had declared Mr Uzodinma of the APC as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state.
In thejudgment of the seven-member panel, read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court agreed that results in 388 polling units were unlawfully excluded during the collation of the final governorship election result in Imo State.
Justice Kekere-Ekun said with the results from the 388 polling units added, Mr Uzodinma polled a majority of the lawful votes and ought to have been declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
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