Barely 48 hours after dumping the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Umar Ghali Na’Abba has joined the opposition All Progressives Congress.
Na’abba who left the PDP on Sunday, on Tuesday announced his decision to join APC at a brief ceremony held at the party’s National Headquarters in Abuja.
The former speaker said he left the PDP, a party in which he was among the founding members, because the party has lost the virtues its founding fathers set out to achieve.
According to him, the PDP has, over the last 16 years, led Nigeria and Nigerians astray with maladministration.
He pointed out that he and others briefly left the PDP in 2007 but was prevailed upon to return after a little over one year.
Na’Abba said there were promises of reform in party affairs made by the then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua-led PDP administration but that all these promises have remained unfulfilled till this day.
He said, “I am sure most of you here must have read or heard about my communication to my former party, the PDP and that I have decided to leave the party having being a member of the party for the last 16 years.
“It is a sad commentary on that party that today, a majority of not only the founding fathers but even founding members have left the party. Most of them are on this (APC) side of the divide.
“We need change because Nigerians have been misruled by successive Presidents of the Peoples Democratic Party. I believe that the momentum today is in favour of the APC and we must not allow that momentum to fall. This is why I decided that since I have resigned from the PDP, I should join the APC.”
The former lawmaker promised to give his best to ensure the party succeeds in the forth coming general elections.
While receiving Na’Abba into the APC fold, National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said the party was now clearly the party of choice.
He said, “For the APC, it has been a matter of quality. Today, we are receiving a personality of indisputable quality into our ranks. A man of achievement, a man of principle, a man who has displayed in no uncertain terms that he shares the ideals of our party.”
“Like he (Na’abba) said ‘dubious characters have taken over the PDP,’ it is no longer in the mood for change. They are those (Chief Audu) Ogbeh described as those who now think with their stomachs, who are no longer concerned with the welfare of the nation.”
He commended Na’Abba for having the courage to leave the PDP to join the APC at the time he did. Oyegun announced that with his decision, Na’Abba becomes an automatic member of the APC Board of Trustees and national caucus. He handed him a copy of the party’s Constitution, Manifesto and the party’s Presidential candidate’s contract with Nigerians.
In his remarks, former minister of communications, Chief Audu Ogbeh, revealed that Na’Abba was one of 19 members of the then PDP who met and decided it was time to leave the PDP to join in the formation of the defunct Action Congress.
He stressed that they left the PDP back then because it was being turned into a mafia.
The APC chieftain said he had cause to warn this government that the exchange rate is spiraling out of control but no one listened.
A former National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, Prince Tony Momoh, also welcomed the former Speaker and urged him to invite others who were still suffering in silence in the PDP.