Hon Chijioke Edeoga, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Enugu State, left the Peoples Democratic Party because of the injustices meted to Ndigbo in the aftermath of the PDP’s presidential primary where Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged the party’s standard-bearer.
Hon Edeoga, former chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information, stated this on Thursday while featuring on a political programme of the Energy 105.5 Fm in Enugu. He said although he earlier agreed to support the PDP guber candidate in Enugu State, Barr Peter Mba, he later decided to run for the same position under Labour because ‘the PDP guber primary in the state was not in agreement with the popular will’.
According to him, “It is in the nature of man to have a second thought. There could be something new that was not there when one acted in the first instance. Once in a while, one changes one’s mind or reflect. It is only a tree or inanimate objects that would remain standstill.
“The turning point to me really is the injustice meted to the South East by the Peoples Democratic Party. I am a founding member of the PDP in Enugu State. I don’t think there is anybody else who was there from the day PDP was founded in the present government of Enugu State. I don’t see anybody who was close to the dreams and fundamental ideas that brought PDP to life in this state government.
“I know what PDP ought to be. I know what fired Alex Ekwueme in the formation of the PDP. I was there with him in the All Politicians’ Conference at Eko Hotel in Lagos. I was with him at the Modotel about early 1999. Igbos agreed on NPF as a platform to enter the PDP. I know those who walked away, and went on to merge with the APP.
“The turning point for me really was when Atiku Abubakar emerged as the presidential standard-bearer of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections. The hierarchy of the party completely sidelined the South East. I know that rotational presidency was foundational to the founding of the PDP.
“PDP arose really from the ashes of June 12, and June 12 was an attempt for the North to hold onto power, and the fight ensued that led to agitations and then all about Abiola. Nigerians agreed that rotational presidency was the way to go. For the leaders of the PDP to move into the All Progressives Congress and established a northern presidency in Buhari and now the PDP moving to establish another northern presidency in Atiku! That was when I had moments of introspections. That was not what Alex Ekwueme had in mind when we were founding the PDP.”
He said he took the final decision to leave when Atiku Abubakar did not consider a South-easterner for his VP slot.