- ‘You are welcome to APC family’ – Buhari
- ‘Nwaoboshi’s coming is thunderbolt to APC enemies – Jones Erue, Delta APC Chair
- Huge plus for APC, depletion in PDP – Bodjor
- *‘Criss-crossing is normal, no ill-feelings’ – PDP’s Amori
- *As Omo-Agege commends effort of APC national chair, Buni
The defection of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress, (APC) on Friday has elicited a torrent of reactions in local and national politics.
Barely three days after the former Delta State PDP Chairman and Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, was suspended for one month by the State Working Committee of the party, Senator Nwaoboshi dumped the party and defected to the ruling party, APC.
While receiving Nwaoboshi at the State House, Abuja today, President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed the Senator, saying, “You are welcome to the APC family.”
It would be recalled that the former Delta State PDP Chairman and two-time Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP, has been having a running battle with the State governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa over what he alleged was a poor performance of the governor in the State.
Nwaoboshi had compared the performance of Governor Okowa to his two predecessors, Chief James Ibori (1999-2007) and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (2007-2015), and concluded that “Urhobo (Ibori) and Itsekiri (Uduaghan) governors performed credibly well than our own Anioma (Delta North) governor”. “What has the Anioma governor done for Asaba people to show that he loves Asaba more than the Delta Central people”, Nwaoboshi had asked rhetorically.
His attack on the governor drew the ire of the State Working Committee of the PDP, which subsequently suspended the Senator for one month.
However, Senator Nwaoboshi who described the purported suspension as undemocratic, declared his defection from the PDP to the APC and he was accordingly received by the National Caretaker chairman of the party, Mai Mala Buni who presented him to President Buhari at the State House, on Friday.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who accompanied the National Chairman of the Party, to present Nwaoboshi to President Buhari, also congratulated the Senator for taking a bold step to join the APC. He welcomed him, assuring him of his support to enable Nwaoboshi rejig the structure of the party in Delta North.
Prophet Jones Ode Erue- Delta APC Chair
Speaking with The New Diplomat in a telephone interview, the Delta State Caretaker Committee chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, expressed happiness in welcoming the Senator to the party with an open hand.
He described Senator Nwaoboshi as a courageous, upright and dogged political tactician who speak truth to power, adding that he has stood firm in the defence of democracy in the face of intimidation by anti-democratic forces.
According to him, Nwaoboshi’s defection is a testimony of the transformation initiatives of the current APC-led administration’s impacts on the social economic well-being of Nigeria.
While pledging the unwavering support of the party’s leadership to Senator Nwaoboshi, Prophet Erue described his coming as a thunderbolt to the enemies of the party, adding that the APC in the state is set to sail without looking back.
“Nwaoboshi’s coming into the party is like a thunderbolt to them. They are not happy. But for APC, we are set to sail. We are set to sail without looking back. We are set to sail on the sea of success, sea of a prosperous party that can change our state.
“We are tired of a party that cannot change our state. If Prof. Zulum of Borno State, a war-torn zone, can do what is doing, I think Deltans should yearn for a change. We cannot pretend. We need change of baton, we need change of leadership.
“Nwaoboshi’s coming will enhance our party. And there are many more people coming into the party. You will soon hear the news especially in the South Senatorial district. We are set to sail in the sea of success”, he said.
Also commenting on the decamping of the former Delta North chairman of the APC, Chief George Okafor, Prophet Erue noted that there have been so many moles who are not true members of the party, adding that the heat was on the former Senatorial chairman and he had no option than to resign or be disgraced.
“When the party was going all out to remove moles from our midst. You saw what happened before the declaration of Senator Nwaoboshi that there were some so-called leaders who were not really in our party, who have been working against the party and the leadership of the party. And they have been using the Senatorial chairman. I call so-called leaders because if they bring out their pink result sheet during the election, they did not have anything in their units. But they pose as leaders. Leadership should start from your unit to your ward.
“Although we have been trying to rehabilitate some of the moles but when they knew they could no longer pretend to be part of us, they decided to resign rather than waiting for us to disgrace them. That was the case of my former Delta South Senatorial chairman, Chief George Okafor. So, the coming of Senator Nwaoboshi is like a thunderbolt to them. They are not happy. But for APC, we are set to sail”, he said.
Olorogun Barr. Adelabu Ejiroghene Bodjor
Also speaking with The New Diplomat, the Delta Central Caretaker Committee chairman of the APC, Olorogun Barr. Adelabu Ejiroghene Bodjor, described the coming of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi as a plus to the APC, adding that it is a depletion of the membership of the PDP in the State as the Senator is coming with thousands of his supporters in the APC.
He said: “Nwaoboshi coming into the APC is a welcome development. Such a man of high quality and political sagacity coming into our party, is a huge plus to the APC. It will add colour to the performance of the APC in Delta North Senatorial District. And with his coming, I’m very sure a lot of his followers will come with him and that will mean a depletion of the rank and file of the PDP in Delta North and Delta State in general. So, it is a huge harvest for the APC.”
On the defection of former chairman of the APC in Delta North, Chief George Okafor to the PDP less than 24 hours before Senator Nwaoboshi joined the party, Bodjor said the former Delta North chairman made a huge miscalculation, adding that he would have been in a position to receive the ‘Big Fish’, Senator Nwaoboshi.
“The defection of my colleague is most unfortunate. He must have made some calculation errors and in the process, he must have shot himself on the foot.”
PDP Chieftain, Chief Ighoyota Amori
Reacting to the defection of Senator Nwaoboshi from the PDP to the APC, a chieftain of the PDP in the state, Chief Ighoyota Amori, while fielding questions from The New Diplomat on phone, said that the defection was normal, adding that it was not a surprise to him.
According to him, in politics, it is a free world, adding that criss-crossing is a phenomenon in politics. He said that in politics, people go and people come, stressing that it is no news.
“It is a free world, he (Nwaoboshi) is entitled to associate with any party he wants to associate with. It is nothing new, it always happen. People move from one party to the other. So, it is not a surprise to anybody. There is no ill-feeling about it at all.
“In contemporary politics in Nigeria today, people move in and people move out. As some are moving it, some are moving out and the equation is always balanced. For those of us who are practising politicians, we are not perturbed. It happens daily. Many more criss-crossings will happen from any side. It is not unusual”, he said.