The camp of embattled Care-Taker Governor, Chief Nyesome Wike, has become further depleted with the exit of more heavyweights of the Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of which he is the Leader. The latest in the ranks of Rivers PDP heavyweights who have recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) include three frontline gubernatorial candidates, Chief (Captain) Sunday Nwankwo, Chief Bekinbo Soberekon and Engr. Bekinbo Dagogo-Jack, which were rigged out by Wike during the PDP primaries. Others include Dr. Diamond Tobin-West, Dr. Basoba Anga, Chief Tubonimi Wokoma, Hon. Daye Ojuka and Hon. Ibroma Kirchner.
Kick-starting the formal burial of PDP in Rivers State was Chief (Captain) Nwankwo, the Etche-born, Port Harcourt-based billionaire and former National Presidential Committee Member of PDP. The oil and gas czar dumped PDP and joined APC with thousands of his supporters at a colourful ceremony held at Mba in Etche LGA of the State. Addressing the huge crowd, Chief (Captain) Nwankwo said: “I was hitherto a financier of PDP and the backbone of the party in Mba clan but with the turn of events in the State, with Wike exhibiting inept leadership and lack of power to govern a complex State like Rivers State, I am hereby teaming up with my friend and brother, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, and others that are interested in rebuilding the State in APC. I hereby promise to channel same resources to the victory of APC and all its candidates. I, therefore, urge all my supporters in the 23 LGAs of the State to cross over to APC and ensure the success of the party in all the re-run elections in the State.”
Receiving the decampees, Rivers APC guber candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, reminded Etche people of the numerous roads he constructed in Etche LGA when he served as Commissioner for Works and promised to do more when he is sworn in as Governor of the State after the re-run elections.
Other APC stakeholders that witnessed the epochal event were Chief Allwell Onyesoh, former Commissioner and immediate past Chairman of Rivers State Post-Secondary Schools Board; Chief Nnamdi Okere, former Etche Council boss and immediate past Special Adviser to then-Governor Rotimi Ameachi; Chief Ogbonnah Nwuke, a re-run candidate for Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency; Hon. Golden Ben Chioma, a rerun candidate for the House of Assembly seat in Etche; Chief Okey Amadi, a former Commissioner under Amaechi; Chief Ambrose Igbokwe Nwuzi, former Commissioner; and Hon. Chidi Nweke, a former Commissioner of Agriculture, among others.
In a related development, this time in Buguma, veteran politician, Chief Bekinbo Soberekon, led Dr. Diamond Tobin-West, Dr. Basoba Anga, Chief Tubonimi Wokoma, Hon. Daye Ojuka and thousands of other PDP members in Kalabari Kingdom into APC. Rivers APC leader, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, was on hand to receive the decampees. Peterside, who thereafter received royal blessings from HRH Chief Vincent Fred, was accompanied by several APC chieftains, among them Rt. Hon. Amachree, the incoming Senator to represent the South West Senatorial Zone; and Dr. Dawari George, the APC candidate in the re-run election for Asari-Toru/Akuku Toru Federal Constituency.
As if the two events at Etche and Buguma were not enough damage to the burial of PDP, Akuku-Toru the home Local Government Area of Hon Dr Tammy Dangogo the immediate past Minister of Sports and Wike’s strong man formally hammered the nails on the coffin of the dying PDP in Rivers State when in a carnival of praise and worship at Briggs Compound, New York City-Abonnema; the APC State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya and His Excellency, incoming Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Barr. Asita Honourable received Engr. Bekinbo Dagogo-Jack, governorship aspirant of the PDP who led former Lawmaker, Hon. Ibroma Kirchner and hundreds of high profile defectors from PDP.
Rivers APC in a statement issued Sunday in Port Harcourt warmly welcomed the latest members of the party, congratulating them for taking the right decision at the right time. The statement condemned Wike’s threat to PDP stakeholders in reaction to the gale of defections to APC. Wike, according to reports, summoned PDP stakeholders, threatening to go down with all who may have benefited from his administration should he fail in the re-run election. He reportedly said: “I am worried over the incessant defection of many of my aides to APC in the State. Everybody is running away to APC and they expect me to stay calm and suffer the brunt alone. It will never happen. We were in it together and we must suffer together. If they say I stole money in the Ministry of Education, I didn’t eat it alone. All of you took part. Some of you built the almajiri schools, some built the unity schools, some supplied books, others supervised projects. I have my proofs. Today everybody is shouting Wike killed to get to power. Did I as a person kill any Rivers man? No. They were killed in your LGAs by your boys. Now all of you are planning to run to APC for protection.”
Rivers APC in the statement signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, strongly condemned Wike’s threat, describing it as the outburst of a drowning man. “Wike has seen nothing yet. He should be ready to answer for his misdeeds because there is always a day of retribution and you cannot sow the wind without reaping the whirlwind,” the party said.