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Buhari commends Umahi for defecting to APC, wants him to ignore those who criticise his decision

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi to the APC, urging him to ignore criticisms that might come his way as a result of the move.

The president’s spokesman Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday quoted Buhari as describing Umahi’s defection as “a bold move driven purely by principle rather than opportunistic motives”.

Umahi, along with members of his cabinet, on Tuesday defected from PDP to APC, citing injustice to the South-East by his former political party.

While reacting to the defection, the president said: “I am proud of Governor David Umahi for taking this bold decision in accordance with his conscience and principles, rather than any external influence or coercion.

“Good governance is very important to us in the APC, and I’m glad that the governor has cited this as a major factor in his decision to join us.

”I urge our citizens to pay less emphasis on identity politics if we want our democracy to make a positive impact on our country.

”With men like Umahi, I foresee a brighter future for our democracy because the voters will be more motivated by performance records of parties and their candidates.”

Buhari also commended the governor’s boldness for taking what he described as a ‘courageous decision’, urging him to ignore negative comments such decision might attract from some quarters.

“Let me once again commend the boldness of Governor Umahi for taking this courageous decision in a country where principles are in short supply among many.

”I know people might call him names, but that is the price men of principles have to pay for acting according to their conscience and convictions.” Garba’s statement concluded.