GOVERNOR David Umahi on Sunday alleged that his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was planned with former Senate President Pius Anyim and National Assembly members from the state.
The governor made the allegation during an APC stakeholders’ meeting at the Bouquet Lodge, Old Government House, Abakaliki.
According to him, Anyim, who served as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, backed out of the plan because he (Umahi) went to see President Buhari over the defection plan without carrying him along.
The former senate president could not be reached for comment yesterday but an aide who pleaded for anonymity said Anyim will today respond to the allegation.
According to Umahi, the plan was for Anyim and other leaders to join him in APC two weeks after he must have successfully defected, saying he consulted all the National Assembly members and the elders from the state about his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
All of them gave nod to it, and even agreed to the defection arrangement, he said.
He said the only grievance of the national lawmakers and other leaders was that he ‘outsmarted’ them by joining APC before them, revealing that they actually wanted to join APC before him.
“They were planning to ambush me, but it is difficult to catch the air,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation that Anyim gave him N5 billion to prosecute his governorship election in 2015, Umahi said: “I was a deputy governor, somebody occupying the highest position from the Southeast (referring to Anyim) went and arranged for a N5 billion loan for me to prosecute the presidential election for his government. I had to sell many of my property to pay back that money.”
Umahi vowed to fight those who were fighting him, saying “let me tell you, I’m not afraid of anybody but I respect everybody. But I have said that if God sent me, this will be the last fight in this state.”
He alleged that his predecessor in office Martins Elechi was also fought by the same people who were now fighting him.
The governor said: “All these people that came together to fight me, they collect contracts, they collect monthly pay, they collect vehicles. And when they are asked to bring people that worked for us, they will bring their wives, children and relations. “Now, they are dressing words for us. We are in chapter one, in Chapter two, I will publish all that I have done for the leaders of this state.”
Credit: The Nation