By Tunde Opalana
The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has welcomed Engr. Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State to the All Progressives Congress (APC) saying it is a reinforcement of the Progressive fold in the country, Daily Times gathered.
Kebbi state governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, on behalf of Progressive Governors said Umahi’s defection is a testimony to the vision of the founding fathers of the APC to unite all Nigerians under a progressive umbrella. He added that it is a testament to the party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians.
With Umahi now in APC, he said, the vision is further reinforced and shall contribute to the process of membership and leadership recruitment at all levels.
The PGF also attributed influx of new members to the APC to the visible performances of the APC government’s across states, the leadership quality of President Muhammadu Buhari and qualitative leadership of the Caretaker Committee led by Gov. Mai Mala Buni.
Bagudu in a statement Friday said “it is heartwarming that notwithstanding all the fabricated campaigns against the APC and especially our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Umahi is able to make the bold decision to join our party, based on our performance.
“This is a strong acknowledgement of Mr. President’s credentials as a fair leader with balanced and equitable disposition to issues of justice and impartial politics. We specially congratulate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and reaffirm our commitment to support him to build our party, APC, as a strong and democratic political party in the country.
“We also congratulate our leaders in APC National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee under the able leadership of HE Mai Mala Buni for yet another historic accomplishment of winning an illustrious and experienced leader in the person of HE David Umahi”.
Welcoming Umahi into the Forum, the PGF said “the movement of our compatriot to the APC, despite all manners of intimidation, harassment and persecution by his former party is worthy of commendation and is indicative of his strong personal principles, commitment and conviction to the progress of Nigeria.
“Indeed, considering the nature of achievements recorded in Ebonyi State since 2015, Chief Umahi couldn’t have been in any other party but the APC. If anything, we are only welcoming Chief Umahi home where he belongs; to the party that will provide him and his people, and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations.
“Together with Chief Umahi and all our leaders in the APC, we are confident that our party’s capacity to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened.
“By coming into the fold of the progressives, Chief Umahi has opted for open, transparent and honest contestation in politics, which is the overarching commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and all our founding leaders. Our National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee is working to ensure the institution of a solid foundation for our democratic development as a party.
“We are confident that the National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee will soon release detailed programme of activities leading to the National Convention. Together with Chief Umahi, we shall forge stronger partnership to mobilise all patriotic and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join us in APC to enhance our capacity as a party to respond and resolve all our democratic challenges”.
The governors urged Nigerians to be committee to free, fair and transparent contestation and want them to believe that APC belongs to every member.
“Everyone, from every part of the country is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social and political development of Nigeria”, he said.