Martin Elechi, a former governor of Ebonyi state, says he had to swallow his pride before defectin to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Elechi said this when he led party executive from Ebonyi to the Abuja residence of John Oyegun, national chairman of the APC.

He said when he left PDP, he vowed not to join another political party.

“The party (PDP) got bedevilled by impunity, corruption, lack of respect for democracy, insensitivity to public opinion,” he said.

“We think that the greatest joy in a democratic system is the right of people to choose who their leaders will be. That right to decide and determine our leadership has been destroyed in Ebonyi state under the PDP. And that was why a majority of PDP members protested and left that party to look for a new democratic space.

“Our people have moved to the APC. I who swore that on leaving the PDP I will never join another party but I have now swallowed my pride to say I will sink or swim with the people I had laboured with. And that is why I joined the APC.”

On his part, Oyegun said under the PDP, the country’s economy was built on corruption.

He said the APC would not repeat the culture of corruption and waste which was the trademark of past PDP administrations.

“Under the PDP, we became an economy that was totally built on corruption. State resources were diverted into private hands and pockets, the result of which the poor people of this country are feeling today… There is serious work to be done,” he said.

“At a time when oil was selling for over $120 per barrel, we neither built roads, railways nor did we maintain our airline, nor did we refine our crude to use, nothing. The institutions and commonwealth of this country was totally run aground. We spent billions of dollars on the energy sector and we got no energy. It is so painful. When you see the revelations today, you really feel that sense of anger.

“I am glad to receive you into the fold of the APC. The challenges are immense. There is serious work to be done. We are in the process of totally rebuilding this nation. We know the groans of our people, we know what they going through but given where we are taking off from, it became totally inevitable.

“As a party and government, we are doing everything to make sure the kind of corruption and waste witnessed in the past never happens in this country again. We have the boldness to investigate, to query people who have been in government and because we are hoping too that even if they are of the same party when we move away from office, they will look at our records.

“Unless we start doing that, we will never come out of that viscous cycle of everybody protecting everybody’s back and so corruption becomes an institution in its own.”

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