Some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South East have described the defection of a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, to the party as a `welcome development’.
The APC chieftains, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Enugu, said that the gale of defections by South East politicians to the ruling party was good for the zone.
Mr Osita Okechukwu, Director-General, of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), said the APC welcomes with open arms the political bigwigs who had found it worthy to identify with the progressives.
Okechukwu, however, called for caution in order not to admit those who participated in dislocating and subverting the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“My fear is that those who have excess baggage may also wittingly or unwittingly infest the APC in Enugu State with such anti-democratic and less than transparent tendency,” he said.
Okechukwu described Nnamani as `a politician with high integrity’ who worked hard to reorganize his former party and also stood firm against the infamous third term bid of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The APC Chairman in Enugu State, Chief Ben Nwoye, said the defection of the former senate president was a clear indication that the party was on ground in the state.
Nwoye said that the APC needed men of integrity such as Nnamani to capture states in the zone, adding that it would be a different story in the next general elections.
“We are galvanizing the people of the state to embrace APC; they know that their votes have never counted.
“I am glad we have dismantled the rigging machine of other parties,’’ said the APC chieftain.
Nwoye said that the APC is a party for Nigerians and not for the Northerners or Muslims as people were made to believe during the 2015 elections.
According to him, the APC suffered campaigns of calumny in the South East ahead of the 2015 election.
He said that with the entrance of Nnamani and former Abia governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, the party would capture the South East.
A former member of the House of Representatives from Abia State, Chief Acho Obioma, said that time had come for the zone to take its proper place in the political scheme of things in the country.
“No meaningful development had happened in the South-East and South-South under the PDP and before the end of 2018 the zones would have seen massive infrastructural development under the APC.
“Our people will now see reason to embrace our party because we do not like to be in the opposition.
“I believe that the scenario that played out during the last election will not repeat itself,” he said.
Obioma said that the turnout of people in the ongoing registration of members by the APC was a clear indication that the zone was ready to embrace progressive ideas.
Meanwhile, Prof Aloysius Okoli, of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka said that the defection of Nnamani and Jim Nwobodo to the APC was rooted on pursuit of personal interest.
According to him, their defection would have little or no impact as far as politicking is concerned in Enugu State.
“I believe that their defection to APC is for them to be in the news, so that people could see and hear them,” Okoli said.
NAN reports that Nnamani on Sunday officially announced his defection to the APC in his country home, Amechi in Enugu South Local Government of the state. (NAN)