The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has said it will hold a mega rally to formally receive defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties.
This came as about 1,500 members of the APC from Asari Toru and Degema local government areas of the state yesterday defected to the ruling PDP.
While the defectors from Asari Toru were led by the Leader of Asari Toru Legislative Assembly under the administration of former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, Hon. Orolosama Amachree, the ones from Degema were led by the Deputy Chairman-elect in the council election conducted by Amaechi in May before he left office, Mr. Samuel Ikiroma.
Amachree said he was returning to the PDP with his followers because the APC had failed to meet their aspirations and also because of the achievements of Governor Nyesom Wike.
He also lamented that APC leaders insisted they must hate and pull down the government of Wike, adding that they were told that Wike could not carry out any meaningful project in the state.
“They (APC leaders) should borrow a leaf from what is happening in Akwa Ibom State. After elections, the people have come together to support the government. We should all join hands to support Wike because he means well for Rivers State,” he said.
The height of the ceremony, however, was when the leader of the defectors from Degema, Ikiroma, tendered his certificate of return from the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) to the state Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Felix Obuah, saying he was tired of being in court over the election.
The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had nullified the local government election conducted by Amaechi shortly before the end of his tenure in 2015.
Ikiroma said they had to retrace their steps back to the PDP because of the hope it held out for people of the state.
Receiving the defectors at the state secretariat of the party, Chairman of the PDP in the state, Obuah, lauded the defectors, promising that they would not be treated as new entrants into the party.
He also hailed Wike for creating the enabling environment for members of other parties to appreciate development in the state, stressing that it was the success record of Wike that made the defectors to dump the APC.
“I thank Wike for creating the enabling environment for what we are seeing today. If you listened to the defectors you heard them say nobody convinced them to come back. The truth is that it is the performance record of the governor that has brought this development,” Obuah said.
He assured the defectors that they would be treated equally as members of the party and would enjoy all the privileges and rights of members of the PDP.
He disclosed that the PDP was planning a mega rally to receive all defectors since the opposition APC in the state was denying that its members were leaving in droves to the PDP.
But in a swift reaction, the state chapter of the APC said those defecting to the PDP were rejected members of the APC.
The state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said in a statement he issued in Port Harcourt yesterday that the PDP was merely presenting APC rejects as defectors.
He said: “Let it be on record that important APC stakeholders in Asari-Toru LGA have a dossier on the romance between Orolosama Amachree and the PDP in ASALGA over time. This culminated in a meeting they all held with Wike on December 8, 2016 in Government House, Port Harcourt. Subsequently, the APC placed surveillance on Orolosama while APC members in ASALGA distanced themselves from him especially in view of his treacherous behaviour during the December 10 rerun elections.
“It is laughable to hear Chief Glory Emeh refer to APC as party of lies and propaganda. In due time, a public presentation of the series of his lies and propaganda against his present master will be made to help the public judge who between APC and Emeh revels more in propaganda.
“Therefore, Orolosama Amachree formally pitching camp with the PDP is long expected and he is not likely to refrain from his penchant for easy money which has become very dire of late. On that account we believe it is good riddance to bad rubbish especially to the APC stakeholders in ASALGA who have endured and tolerated Orolosama’s antics for too long.”
He said: “True members of APC will continue to remain true to the party and its ideals while persons who place pecuniary interests above anything else are free to go scrounge for crumbs under Caesar’s table.”