PDP, APC Will Soon Witness Mass Defection-Wike
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that mass defection will rock both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) between now and December, as politicians realign ahead of the 2023 general election.
He also said, although defection is an inherent part of the democratic process, those who defected from the PDP lack integrity and character.
Wike stated these at the inauguration of the reconstructed William Jumbo, Ernest Ikoli, Eleme, Akassa, Abana and Mbiama streets in Old Government Residential Area of Port Harcourt.
The governor, in a release by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said: “People are defecting; More will defect. Defection is part of our electoral process. As you are defecting, people are coming in.
“There are those who are angry there (in the APC), they’ll come (to the PDP). You that is angry here (in PDP), you will go. That is the game.”
Wike stressed that insinuation that some governors and others who have defected from PDP to APC were being intimidated, is not tenable and maintained that those who decided to jump ship lack conscience, character and integrity.
“If it is by provocation, if it is by intimidation, if it is by coercion, then Rivers State won’t have been in the PDP. Because, if there is one state that has been intimidated, if there is one state that has been punished by the ruling party, it is Rivers State.
“Yet nobody can push us, nobody can intimidate us to leave the hope and the future of this country, and that is the PDP,” the governor said.
Governor Wike remarked that those claim PDP has been unfair to them should also realise that the party had at different times wronged Rivers State, which accounts for its highest votes since 1999.
He added that despite the unfair treatment meted out to it, the state has remained steadfast and committed to the ideals of the PDP.
“PDP has done a lot of wrong things to Rivers State, but I cannot say we will leave the PDP. We will be there and fight the war. The interest of Rivers State will be fought inside PDP, we will not leave anywhere.
“Even if the whole states abandon the PDP, Rivers State will not abandon the PDP because we are people of integrity, we are people of character. Anybody who does not have integrity, who does not have character cannot say he is from Rivers State,” he said.
Wike said it is worrisome that some prominent members of the PDP who are aspiring to be presidential and vice presidential candidates, have remained mute instead of speaking out against the maladministration he said has characterised the APC-led Federal Government.
He also dismissed the assertion by President Muhammadu Buhari that the reason why Zamfara State governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, defected to the APC was because of the good things happening in the party.
According to him, the APC has wrecked the country and those defect from the PDP are leaving a party that offers hope to one that offers Nigerians none.
The Rivers State governor also accused some state and National Assembly lawmakers of plotting against him and conspiring with extraneous forces to undermine the state.
He revealed that he is aware of their alleged various clandestine meetings in Abuja and warned of dire consequences if they do not desist from their nefarious scheme.
The governor said one essence of bringing prominent personalities to flag off and inaugurate projects in the state, particularly at night, is to prove to the world that, indeed, Port Harcourt is safe.
He said though some members of the opposition, including his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, have being living in denial of the infrastructural transformation taking place in Rivers State, Mbiama Street where he (Amaechi) resides in Port Harcourt is among the streets just inaugurated.
Past president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Onueze Chukwujinka J. Okocha, SAN, who inaugurated the reconstructed streets in Old GRA Port Harcourt, applauded the governor for the great work his administration is doing in the state.
Okocha urged Governor Wike not to be distracted by what he said are the antics of the opposition.
The state Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the reconstructed streets have a combined length of 3.5km, an average road width of 7.3m with 5.4km of surface drains and a sub surface storm drain 615m long buried about 2.8m below the surface of William Jumbo Street.
“They all have street lights and are properly marked for good traffic management and control.
“This project is much more than an improvement in the character of the road and its design speeds but also a major improvement in the character of the neighbourhood impacting considerably on the value of real estate and security in the area.
“Most importantly, these roads have been built to the highest standards suited to our peculiar terrain which guarantee a life span in excess of 50 years, freeing up funds for other needs in the future,” he said.