By Uche Amunike
The Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke has defected from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and has been officially received by President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
He was presented to President Buhari by the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni alongside the APC Campaign Organization Chairman for the forthcoming to gubernatorial election in Anambra state and Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodimma.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Governor Hope Uzodimma confirmed that the Anambra Deputy Governor had officially joined the APC.
He expressed high expectations that the APC would win the coming governorship election in Anambra state, considering all that the President has done for the South East zone, while assuring that as the Chairman of Anambra gubernatorial campaign council, he was doing his best by working towards ensuring that APC wins the November 6 election.
He reminded them about the last visit of the President to Imo state and his interaction with leaders from the South East which showcased a lot of plans by the federal government, like the interventions of the Federal government in the South East zone and also the progress report of the Second Niger Bridge, Port Harcourt-Enugu Road, Onitsha-Enugu Road and Owerri-Aba Road.
He reiterated that Anambra state indigenes who were also at that meeting discovered how genuine the President and his policies were, especially as it concerned the Igbos, saying that he has been an advocate of national politics which is the only way the South East will have rapid development.
He added that people in the South East zone are willing to join the winning team which is the APC party, recalling that at the last count, 8 members of the House of Representatives from APGA and PDP joined the APC.
His words: ‘Just this afternoon, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State joined the APC and has been presented to the President. If there is any strong parameter for conducting an opinion poll, this exodus of legislators and the second-in-command in Anambra State, should automatically translate into electoral victory.’
Reacting to the claim by Governor Willie Obiano that the APC was dishing out N100m (One hundred million naira) to defectors from the other parties, Governor Uzodimma said he would not want to join issues with his Anambra counterpart.
His words: ‘ That means that APC is working. So, I don’t want to lament. In political programmes, you can lobby people. And I don’t think APC has money to buy people. By the grace of God, the way we are going, I won’t be surprised if everybody in Anambra declares for APC before the election, including the governor. Well, if the governor wants come and collect money, we will give it to him.’
The defection of the Anambra Deputy Governor is seen as a huge blow politically against his former party, APGA, as the election is scheduled to take place on November 6th, just a few weeks from his defection.
Before now, there was rumour making the rounds about his defection, but the Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr Okeke never reacted to it publicly.