Okafor Ifiebor/ Rivers
… PDP is the only party existing in Rivers -Governor Wike
In what may be interpreted as alignment of political forces ahead of the 2023 governorship election, key members of Senator Magnus Abe led faction of Rivers chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC on Friday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Rivers APC chieftain, led by former Commissioner of Education Chief Allwell Onyesoh alongside thousands of his supporters were received at the PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Speaking while receiving the APC chieftains, Governor Wike said their defection was evidence that the people of Rivers State are happy with the performance of the PDP over the years.
There Governor also declared that PDP is the only party existing in Rivers State.
“Except people who do not see and those who tell lies in this state, the only party that means well for Rivers State is the PDP.”
“This is the only party that keeps its promises. When we say a thing, we go all out to carry it out on behalf of the people,” he said.
He expressed happiness that Rivers leaders are returning to the PDP to promote the interest of the state.
Governor Wike said that the PDP returnees will enjoy equal opportunities with older members of the party.
He said: “Everybody has equal rights. Luckily congresses will soon start and everyone will participate. The new entrants will fill feel at home. The more the merrier.”
In his remarks, Chief Onyesoh said his movement is not defection, but homecoming.
He said: “We came back to our house. We went on a journey. We have gone, we have seen and we have come back. “
The former commissioner described his defection as a massive home-coming with a cross section of the APC Membership from different wards of Etche.
“We make bold to come back to the House that rightly belongs to us. I thank those who did not leave as they stayed home to keep the house in order,” he said.
Also, while receiving Onyesoh and other APC members, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah urged them never to return to the APC that has disappointed the Nation. He said that the PDP symbolises development as shown in Rivers State.
Onyesoh has been a key player in Senator Magnus Abe’s faction of APC and has ambition to gun for Rivers East Senatorial presently occupied by Senator Thompson Sekibo.
A suit filed by a faction of APC led by Senator Abe led to the disqualification of the party from participation in the Rivers State 2019 governorship election.
Abe had alleged in the suit that APC did not follow its constitution in the conduct of its gubernatorial primary.
The Senator, who was a contestant in the primary filed the suit after he failed to get the gubernatorial ticket of the party.
With the crisis in APC in which Abe is locked in battle for the control of the party with Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation yet to abate, there have been rumours that Abe, may defect to the PDP ahead of the 2023 political season to actualise his governorship ambition.