Ebonyi Governor David Umahi has alleged the dictatorial tendencies of his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike, are destroying the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Umahi was reacting to a statement by Wike, who said he the Ebonyi Governor left the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of his desperation to be President come 2023.
Umahi spoke on Arise TV interview programme monitored on Wednesday.
He said Wike’s dictatorial tendencies and overbearing influence on running of the party affairs have made other Governors unhappy with him.
He warned Wike to desist from attacking him as it would be very dangerous for both of them.
He said: “I refused to join issues with Wike because he is my friend. But Wike must know that he is a dictator.
“Wike must know that one person cannot be called a crowd. Wike must know that a lot of governors in PDP are not very happy with him. He remote controls the party.
“He (Wike) said that I made my brother the Vice Chairman. I fund the PDP southeast from A to Z. And he has forgotten that he singlehandedly made Secondus the chairman. He has forgotten that he wanted to impose one of his own as minority Leader of the House.
“There is nothing that happens in PDP without his authorisation. He once said that PDP National Working Committee members are beggars and bribe takers. I have asked him that let’s not take on ourselves or else it will be very dangerous.”
He added: “So let us face the party, the party does not belong to him. And this is by no means personal and he is demonstrating the dictatorial tendencies in him by taking on me, a fellow governor. And that is very shameful.”
Umahi warned unless there was a change in the mode of doing things in PDP from a situation where it is being remote controlled, more Governors will likely leave the party.
“APC does more consultation and anybody can contravene this that PDP working committee is being remote controlled and that is the truth and it is very dangerous and all the governors know that.
“You cannot stay in your state and you will be remote controlling what happens in other states. Unless that changes you will see a lot of governors leaving the party,” he warned. Governor Umahi also said he is not desperate to be President.
He said he will be a happy man if a President of Southeast extraction is elected in 2023 even if that person is not him.
In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, to the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing it “as a bold move driven purely by principle rather than opportunistic motives.”
Reacting to the defection, President Buhari said:
“I am proud of Governor David Umahi for taking this bold decision in accordance with his conscience and principles rather than any external influence or coercion.”
According to the President, “Good governance is very important to us in the APC, and I’m glad that the governor has cited this as a major factor in his decision to join us. I urge our citizens to pay less emphasis on identity politics if we want our democracy to make a positive impact on our country.”
He noted that “with men like Umahi, I foresee a brighter future for our democracy because the voters will be more motivated by performance records of parties and their candidates.”
“Let me once again; commend the boldness of Governor Umahi for taking this courageous decision in a country where principles are in short supply among many. I know people might call him names, but that is the price men of principles have to pay for acting according to their conscience and convictions,” President Buhari added.