The deputy governor of Rivers state Tele Ikuru on Sunday dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. This is coming barely six days to the Presidential election.
According to Tele Ikuru, the APC is ‘a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in the robes of pretence and deceit.’ In the presentation of his address where he dramatically washed his hands in a bowl like the biblical Herod, he said the ‘man in me rejects APC.’ In his speech titled ‘a call on the conscience of the people of Rivers state dated March 22, 2015, he said his continued stay in the APC would amount to witch hunting and hounding down Jonathan, the very first ever president from the region, granted us by providence, after 48years of Rivers people supporting leaders from all parts this country with their votes and resources.
There had been speculations in the past few weeks that the deputy governor was likely to defect. When Governor Amaechi called him on Saturday, he was said to have told Amaechi that he was in Andoni and will get back to him once he back. He never did. Governor Amaechi inherited Ikuru as deputy governor from Celestine Omehia when the Supreme Court replaced Omehia with Amaechi following the 2007 judgement. Omehia incidentally is a cousin of Amaechi.
Ikuru urged the people of Rivers State to vote enmasse for President Jonathan. Ikuru comes from the same Andoni area of Rivers state as the Deputy national chairman of PDP ,Uche Secondus. It is expected that the PDP leadership will be in Rivers state on Monday to receive Ikuru other defectors into their fold. It is however, not clear if Jonathan will be there. He is expected at the party’s stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt. The departure of Ikuru took Amaechi and the other APC leadership in the state by surprise.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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