The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday lost its top leaders in Enugu State to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The defectors are Senator Jim Nwobodo, who was the first executive governor of old Anambra State, Senator Fidelis Okoro, who was a senator between 1999 and 2007.
The duo declared for APC at a stakeholders meeting convened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jeffrey Onyeama yesterday.
Nwobodo was recently named by embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) among those who benefited from the multi-billion naira arms deal, being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had denied any wrongdoing, saying that the N500 million released to him by the NSA was meant for PDP leaders in the South-East to drum support for the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election.
Members and stakeholders of APC at the meeting were shocked when Chief Nwobodo and Senator Okolo, surfaced at the meeting.
The minister who was attending APC meeting in the state for the first time could not hide his surprise at the turn of events, as depicted in his speech.
As Nwobodo and Senator Okoro stormed into the meeting, some of the stakeholders who were angry said: “These are Dasukigate fugitives and food is ready politicians. Are they not those who collected money from Dasuki and allocated 14,175 votes to Buhari as against over 500,000 votes they allocated to former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan?
“Is there no shame in the country again? They are shameless and the unfortunate thing is that they cannot win their wards. They will infect and contaminate the APC”.
Making his declaration speech, Nwobodo urged members of the APC in Enugu State not to be deterred by the electoral losses they have suffered in the state in the past.
His words: “You must always not lose. What matters is the ability to rise again. I must condemn our former party, PDP. I know we had problems. I told our former chairman, how come did we allow five governors to leave the party?
“I am not looking for a job. I am talking because I want peace. I want our people to be part of the Federal Government at the centre. I had a problem being an opposition governor. I am not coming into APC because I want anything. I want our people to reintegrate and have our own share of the Federal Government resources”.
Nwobodo recalled that while he was in PDP, his wife had always been an active member of the APC, just as he pointed out that the slogan “change” did not start now but started in 1983 when he was an opposition governor.
Similarly, barely a month after she was sacked by an Appeal Court sitting in Enugu as senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Uche Ekwunife has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ekwunife who has begun preparation for a fresh poll after her election was nullified last month, confirmed her defection from the PDP to newsmen in Awka, Anambra State capital.
She said: “It’s better now for me to join the APC.
“Let the heat be there; I am already on campaigns for my return to the senate, to complete my contract with the people of Anambra Central District,” she said.
She added that her goodies for her people under the APC would soon be made public.
With this development, Ekwunife may now likely replace Chris Ngige as the APC flag bearer in the March 2016 fresh election after the latter withdrew his candidacy following his appointment as minister of Labour and Productivity.
As at press time, work was going on at the campaign office along Enugu – Onitsha expressway with all the PDP flags being removed and replaced with that of APC, as well as the walls changed to APC colours.