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Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, has voiced his belief that the defection of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah to the ruling party on Thursday will pave the way for a revolutionary transformation in the South-East.
Ganduje gave the assurance at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja while Senator Godswill Akpabio introduced the senator representing Anambra South officially.
This gathering convened shortly after Ubah changed his allegiance from the Young Progressive Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Clad in a white, flowing Babaringa and a complementing traditional red cap, the Anambra politician was part of the Senate president’s group that reached the secretariat around 4.15 pm
Addressing newsmen at the party secretariat, Ganduje described Ubah as a ‘big fish’ who has an enormous political clout in Anambra politics.
He said, ‘This is the biggest fish we caught since I became the chairman. Let’s see what is happening in the South-East. With five states, three are controlled by different political parties. We have the PDP, Labour Party and APGA. The remaining two are the APC states. Now, where is the sense of unity in a geopolitical zone with five states controlled by four political parties? Is this a sense of collective decision to participate in national politics? No.’
‘Now we have started seeing the answer. We will start a revolution. Already, we have two states in the South-East and with this timber and calibre and political juggernaut (Ubah), I think we have found the answer, an answer to liberating the South-East geopolitical zone. I describe him as a swing politician because wherever he is, that party wins. And we expect this swing will swing throughout the southeast, especially to the other three states.’
Once publicly read in the Senate Chamber on Thursday, the news of Ubah’s defection spread like wildfire throughout.
The letter stated that Ubah, who had secured a second term under the YPP in the prior elections, cited irreconcilable disagreements within his former party as the reason for his party switch.
Even with the rise in the number of APC senators to 60 following his defection, the Anambra politician stayed composed, using the next 15 minutes to laud President Bola Tinubu for his exceptional leadership, which influenced his decision to join the ruling party.
He said, ‘I want to be sincere. It has always been difficult for the Igbo people to cue into the national party because of our sentiments and emotions. But, since our president has emerged, and I put that challenge to each Igbo man today in Nigeria, about 70 to 80 per cent of them drive their wealth from the legacy that the president has left in Lagos. Our president is a politician who understands pains and how to console people. He has that capacity.’
‘It is also important for me to tell our people about the appointment of Dave Umahi as the minister of works for the very first time, irrespective of our very low turnout of votes for him. Our president is rewarding those who didn’t vote for him. For that, it will be very difficult for any man with a conscience not to look at the direction of the central party. I consulted widely. I don’t see anyone who will come against my coming into the APC.’
He added, ‘It is not all about talking. It is about doing. I believe in action and I am going to deliver. I have made my complaints to Mr President in front of the Senate President and Mr President has graciously given me his words that he will support me.’
Correspondingly, Akpabio hailed Ubah for his courageous move, stating his satisfaction at having weathered the intense campaign by the Labour Party that surged through the South East.
‘Our visit today is to surprise you (Ganduje) that we have increased our number in the Nigerian Senate. This time around we are bringing a political timber in the Senate to you. It was very difficult to convince him to join the train. Here is the man who survived the tsunami in the southeast when the Labour Party was deceiving Nigerians.’
‘He is not just coming with YPP alone; he is also coming with the timbers and calibres of the old party that used to be in charge of Nigeria. One of them is a former Senate President. So the man that comes will be the torch to lead the southeast to the national politics of Nigeria. It is my privilege to hand him over to you,’ Ganduje concluded.