The Immediate Past Governor of Ebonyi, Chief Martin Elechi, has publicly congratulated his successor, Gov. David Umahi, for defecting to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The duo severed relationship in 2014 when Umahi, who was Elechi’s deputy, did not receive his principal’s support to succeed him as the governor.
Umahi later emerged as Elechi’s successor and the latter after handing over in 2015, defected from the PDP to the APC only to be joined by Umahi who also left the PDP in November 2020.
Elechi congratulated Umahi in Abakaliki during the APC’s stakeholders’ meeting, commending the governor for the ‘courageous’ decision.
“I know the storms that surrounded the move; on the social media, public and private discourses but you mustard the courage to do what you believed was necessary. I welcome you to the APC as a senior member of the party,” Elechi said.
The immediate past governor commended Umahi for the ‘resolve to do things better’, chiding politicians who flagrantly disrespect party constitutions.
“I was the executive secretary of a party in the old Anambra when party chiefs were known as secretaries and not chairmen. That was the reason we were called executive secretaries and though the format is different now, we respected the parties’ constitutional provisions,” he said.
He remarked that he left the PDP due to such anomaly but the situation has remained the same in the APC.
“When you see the behaviour of the party’s leaders during the 2019 general elections, you weep for the country. We did things as dictated by our appetite and I therefore plead that a small committee be constituted to review the mishandling of the 2019 elections,” he said.
Elechi said that the APC is happy to be the ruling party in Ebonyi but many people are still grieving over the way they were treated in the ward and state primaries.
“Many people lost their lives during the primaries, so we should show remorse and do something to appease their grieving families. The use of force and money was pronounced during the elections and we ask ‘what is the fate of good and credible people who don’t have money to share?.’
“Many things went wrong and if we don’t remorsefully get things right, the party might have a more difficult future than we imagined,” he said.
He thanked Umahi for allowing him nominate someone for a federal board appointment, noting that he might remain an applicant for over five years.