A former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, on Sunday formally joined the All Progressives Congress.
Nnamani was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The former Senate President, who is currently the head of the Electoral Reform Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, registered as a member of the APC at his country home in Amechi-Uwani, in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The development followed the commencement of the party’s re-registration exercise in Enugu State and other parts of the South-East.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the APC in the South-East was embarking on a fresh registration, following the crash of the party’s database in the zone, which led to the disappearance of records of registered members.
Nnamani’s registration was witnessed by some leaders of the party in the zone, including the Vice Chairman, APC South-East, Chief Emma Eneukwu; Director-General, Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu; Chairman, Enugu State chapter of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye; and the chairman of the registration committee, Rev. Tony Ibeabuchi.
A bunch of brooms was presented to Nnamani after he registered as a member of the APC.
Addressing the gathering of APC members who witnessed the event, Nnamani said he was joining the ‘winners’, adding that he would not mind if his action was interpreted as ‘opportunism’.
“I like to identify with potential winners, if that makes me an opportunist, so be it,” Nnamani said.
The former Senate President said it was a thing of joy for him to join “those who have kept the flag of the APC flying.”
Although he added that he would make his reasons for joining the APC known during a public declaration, which is planned for a later date, Nnamani explained that he had left the PDP since February 6, 2016.
He said he had been on a ‘political sabbatical’ since then.
Stressing that ‘one cannot remain without a political party,” Nnamani said he had to join the APC, which he said had more chances of delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians than his former party, the PDP.
He declared that the PDP was dead.
But he also observed that the APC was not perfect.
He said, “In the politics of our nation, if you look carefully and read between the lines, you will not ask somebody who is on his way back from the market to buy something for you, such a person will not get anything for you; but if you ask somebody who is on his way to the market to buy something for you, he is more likely to get it for you.
“I noticed that the APC has all it takes, but it is not perfect yet. We will join hands to make it near perfect.”
Nnamani said his decision to join the APC was informed by his conscience.
He explained, “I am acting according to my conscience; many people will criticise me that I am abandoning a party that helped me to attain a high level politically. February 6, 2016, was the day I left the PDP and went into political sabbatical.
“Our (Nigeria’s) constitution does not allow independent candidates; so, I cannot remain ‘partyless’.
“Now that change is going on in the country, one cannot remain rigid.”
Nnamani argued that it would be better for the Igbo to join the APC.
He noted, “The South-East has a role to play in our nation; we can’t play that role from outside. We have to be inside to play our role in Nigeria.
“Even if we want to ask that imbalances in the country should be corrected, we have to ask for that from inside.
“You cannot stay outside to criticise; it is not about being confrontational.
“I am not condemning any party or anybody, but since you cannot be an independent candidate, you have to join a political party, even if it is not yet perfect.
“But then, even those who stayed 16 years (in power) could not achieve perfection; so, we have a better chance to support a party we can help and build to achieve perfection.”
Noting that political parties were like churches and markets, he said nobody should be prevented from joining.
“I am not hiding it that I want to identify with the APC, and I will do that boldly. In time, I will tell my supporters that this is where the road is,” Nnamani said.
The former Senate President warned those who had ulterior motives against joining the APC.
He said, “Don’t play the role of the APC in the day and the PDP at night; you should not join the APC because you are running from one tribunal or the other.”
Nnamani urged members of the APC to encourage others to join their fold.
“Encourage others to register; you have no reason to block anybody from registering, even if you don’t like his face.
“A party is as strong as the members. In a church, if the membership is going down, a good church administrator will encourage new members so that he can get more tithe,” he said.
The APC chairman in Enugu State, Nwoye, said the occasion was the party’s proudest moment in the South-East.
“Today is the proudest moment of the APC in Igboland; today, that dream of ‘change’ begins to manifest in the South-East,” he added.