Sen. Stella Oduah, representing Anambra North in the National Assembly, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Sen. Oduah, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and former Minister of Aviation, left the party ahead of the 2019 elections.
The former PDP chieftain said the agenda of the Igbo, youths and empowerment of women were strong forces driving her switch of parties.
In a statement released by her, she said;
“My brothers and sisters, it is with great delight that I come before you today. This occasion is momentous because it marks the beginning of a new political chapter for me. The Igbo often say, ‘Onye aghana nwane ya’. This aphorism rings loudly the essence of brotherhood among the people of the rising sun. Before the incursion of the British, the Igbo had sacerdotal institutions that fostered strong communal bond. Even now, these institutions, such as the age-grades, remain, but with modifications.
“Pursuing communal goals for the benefit of the community has always been the way of the Igbo. Since the civil war, we have survived neglect and ostracisation because of our ‘Ofu Obi’ principle. This communal spirit of ours has always been tested and threatened, but we have, at each time, proved that ‘obala aburo nmili.’ The Igbo are known to stand up for their own at the risk of being called “bigots or tribalists” by other ethnic groups. I know this, because I have had my own share of ethnic attacks. In 2013, when as Minister of Aviation I supervised the remodelling and upgrading of Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu to international standard, I faced stiff opposition.
“I was accused of influencing the project to favour my people. But I was not deterred because of my ‘onye aghana nwane ya’ principle. At the time, the south-east was the only region without an international airport. So, I saw to it that justice was done in this regard. When I sponsored the South-East Development Commission Bill in the Senate in 2017, it was to drive the Igbo agenda. It was an expression of a potent desire to see a change in my homeland, and an exemplification of that sacred Igbo philosophy. The bill sought, among other things, to create a commission which will provide and implement a roadmap for the development of infrastructure and social services in the five states of the south-east – Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo. Let me say this here, as Senator representing Anambra North, the bill will see the light of day again. As you all know, the south-east is a region with the least federal government presence – in terms of projects.