Chairman of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), Dr Josef Onoh, Saturday, said that former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode may have mistaken Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s accommodating style of governance for romancing with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onoh, a close ally of Ugwuanyi categorically debunked the insinuation by Fani-Kayode that the Enugu Governor was among some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expected to defect to the APC, sooner than later.
He said that the political ecumenism prevalent in the state under Ugwuanyi’s watch did not mean that he wanted to dump his party that even recently gave him an all-important assignment as Chairman of its National Zoning Committee.
According to him, anybody in doubt of Ugwuanyi’s stable and courageous character, should refer to last Thursday’s Southern Governors’ meeting in Enugu where he was the only substantive governor from the South-East zone that attended.
Onoh said: “What Femi Fani-Kayode said was his personal opinion, it did not reflect the opinion of the government, the state or the present state of affairs of the PDP and our Governor in Enugu State. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the leader of the PDP in the South-East, he has just been made the National Chairman of PDP zoning committee and that shows the level of confidence the PDP as a party has in him.
“It’s like saying that the President of Nigeria could turn around and accept to become a ward councilor. The responsibilities saddled on him, not only as a governor, but to pilot the affairs of over 100 million active registered members of the party is a huge task. We respect Fani-Kayode’s conviction in joining the APC but in this game there are men of integrity and honour. I can tell you authoritatively, not just as an ally of the governor, that the long rumour of Ugwuanyi joining the APC is false. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in Obasanjo’s words, we still dey kamkpe in PDP.”
Noting that there cannot be vibrant democracy without opposition political parties, Onoh said their role was to keep a tab on fair play and participation in politics.
“Here in Enugu state, we in the PDP are in opposition but we respect and accommodate the APC and other political parties, but the problem is that Femi Fani-Kayode mistakes Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s approach to politics to the general accepted barbaric norm played by some Nigeria politicians.
“Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the Governor of Enugu State, and so he is the Chief Security Officer of the state and the father of all political parties in Enugu State. He even has the right to revoke the land that any political party office is located, but he provides security for all. If there is a problem in APC secretariat, he will ensure there is security to protect there, same as in APGA or any other party and so he is the governor of all political parties in the state but he is a registered member and an active participant of the PDP because he rules with conscience, ” he stated.