A former minister of information, and governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, on Friday defected to the All Progressive Congress.
Nwobodo, a former Senator and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, attended an APC meeting, reportedly convened by Foreign Affairs minister, Dr. Jeffrey Onyeama, in Enugu.
He declared his membership of the party at the meeting, to the surprise of most of the APC members present at the event.
A former PDP senator from Enugu State, Chief Fidelis Okoro, also defected to the APC at the meeting.
Okoro was in the Senate between 1999 and 2007.
There were indications that the former PDP bigwigs’ defection did not go down well with the some APC members, who openly voiced their dissatisfaction with the development at the meeting.
The party faithful could not hide their surprise, and shock, when Nwobodo arrived at the venue of the meeting in company with Okoro.
Some APC members, who apparently understood the duo’s mission at the meeting, voiced their disapproval.
Chairman of the party in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, who appeared to have prior knowledge of the defection, got the aggrieved party members to calm down before Nwobodo made his declaration speech.
In his declaration speech, Nwobodo had harsh words for his old party, PDP.
Nwobodo condemned the PDP, and blamed the party’s leadership for allowing five governors to leave for the APC in the build up to the 2015 general elections.
According to him, he is joining the APC to move the people of Enugu State into the mainstream at the federal level.
Drawing from his experience as a governor, he said it was not good being in the opposition.
He said members of the APC in Enugu State should not to be discouraged by the electoral losses they suffered in the state in the past.
“You must always lose, what matters is the ability to rise again.
“I must condemn our former party, PDP – I know we had problems.
“I told our former chairman, how come did we allow five governors to leave the party?
“I am not looking for a job, I am talking because I want peace.
“I want our people to be part of the Federal Government at the centre.
“I had a problem being an opposition governor.
“I am not coming into APC because I want anything.
“I want our people to be reintegrated and have our own share of the Federal Government resources,” Nwobodo said.
Nwobodo recalled that while he was in PDP, his wife had always been an active member of the APC.
He pointed out that the slogan “change” did not start now with the APC.
According to him, it started in 1983, when he was an opposition governor.