Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (r) and Senator Representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Shortly after Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South South East issued a statement that the gale defections in All Progressives Congress will not affect the party and President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances in 2019, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has countered and declared that the recent gale of defections that hit the ruling party was due to the fact that the Federal Government has failed Nigerians.
He declared that the APC Federal Government runs on vindictiveness, intimidation and illegality, whilst denying Nigerians the dividends of democracy.
Addressing journalists after projects inspection on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike stated that more high profile defections are in the offing across the country.
He said: “Politics is all about alignments and re-alignments. We expected these defections, knowing that the ruling party at the national level has completely failed the people.
“It is not hidden that even when they had majority in the two chambers of the National Assembly, they never had it easy because their representatives knew the APC has nothing to offer the people.
“For me, I had expected these defections more than a year ago. More will happen across the country “.
He berated the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole for his double-speak on Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom. He also decried the unfounded allegations by the APC National Campaign against the Benue State Governor on the killings by herdsmen in the state.
“APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole said in one breadth that Ortom is the best that they have. The following day because he had defected he said fielding Ortom would have been a calamity. This double-speak is laughable.
“I think it is unfair for the APC National Chairman to begin to do the work of the security and the Judiciary. For him to indict the aides of Ortom for Benue killings when the APC never took that position when he was in their party is most unfortunate. Now that the Benue State Governor has defected, they are throwing up these allegations. These are the people who claim they want to fight corruption, but they are always acting illegally.
“This is politics of vindictiveness. This is politics of vengeance. There is an extent to which you can push people. You can intimidate people, but not all the times. When you push people to the wall, they tell you ‘enough is enough ‘. That is what you are seeing today in Nigeria. “
Governor Wike said that the PDP is working round the clock with all stakeholders to put an end to failed APC Federal Government in 2019.
He said the PDP is stronger and more vibrant, having been rebuilt over the last three years.
“What we are doing now is part of the preparedness towards 2019. If we are not prepared, people won’t come to the party. They know that the PDP is very serious and PDP is stronger.
“It is not easy for an opposition party to receive defectors of such magnitude. It shows that the party is doing quite a lot. We don’t need to make noise. But people are working on the ground. We don’t need to come on the pages of newspapers to outline what we are doing. The ruling party only believes in intimidation and harassments”, he said.
He claimed that in Rivers State, the APC Federal Government is using the EFCC to intimidate government officials, despite a subsisting court judgment on the matter. He said the state government will not succumb to intimidation.
On the execution of projects, Governor Wike said that his administration will sustain projects delivery till the end of the first term.
He said that the time for political campaigns have been earmarked, pointing out that it will not affect projects execution.
However, Senator Abe, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has declared that the defection of some lawmakers and a state governor from APC to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will not affect the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Abe made the declaration in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, while speaking on the sideline of an economic summit organised by the Ogbakor Ikwerre Youth Council.
He advised the people of Rivers State to register en masse with the APC, saying all Nigerians are heading towards the direction of the party.
The senator said: “Everybody in Rivers State should go and register with the All Progressives Congress because that is where Nigeria is headed. I know that those who are not members of the All Progressives Congress may not find this palatable, but no matter how you solve the maths, Buhari will still come out with most number of votes in this country.”
Abe, who is also a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC, said nobody can change the fact that the party still has majority of members in the Senate and House of Representatives, despite the defection of some of its members recently.
He said: “The majority in the Senate is APC and the majority in the House of Representatives is APC. Nobody can change that. In fact, some of those who even decamped are returning back again. Well, the truth of the matter like I mentioned, is that a lot of things were not done properly in the party”.
“A lot of things that started as small problems that could have been solved by the party very easily as at the time they started were ignored. Those small fires that could have been put out with a spoon of water, have now become raging infernos and you now need a tanker load of water to put them out. We have the tankers, we will put them out.