By Egufe Yafugborh &Dickson Omobola
PORT HARCOURT—Deputy governorship candidate of African Action Congress, AAC, in Rivers State, Chief Akpo Yeeh, has resigned his membership of the party, saying the state governor, Nyesom Wike, won the disputed governorship election in the state.
Yeeh, who consequently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, claimed that the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi forced him to sign an undated letter that he would step down after his inauguration.
In a letter addressed to the governorship candidate of AAC, Mr. Biokpomabo Awara, Yeeh said his decision was informed by what he described as the complete hijack of the structure of the party.
After announcing his defection yesterday, Yeeh visited the Government House, Port Harcourt where he was received by Wike and the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
The former deputy governorship candidate in his letter claimed his decision was taken in the interest of the state.
His words:” I write to most respectfully notify you of my resignation from the membership of the African Action Congress, AAC, with effect from today March 25, 2019, and subsequent defection to the Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP.
“Please note also that by this notice, I cease to be the deputy governorship candidate of AAC.
“My decisions were informed by the complete hijack of the structure of our party by a faction of the APC in Rivers State led by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for his personal political ambition.
“I was forced to sign an undated letter of resignation as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State to pave the way for Rotimi Amaechi to nominate another person as Deputy Governor. These were slavish conditions for any rational politician worth his name to accept, but I pretended to play along because doing otherwise at the time would have been too dangerous for my safety, given Rotimi Amaechi’s desperation to remove Governor Wike from office and install his stooge, Awara against all odds.
Wike won —Yeeh
“The election was lost by my party AAC and its candidate, Awara and overwhelmingly won by the candidate of PDP, Governor Wike.
“The collated results further showed that contrary to the false claim of fictitious lead by the AAC/APC alliance, the PDP overwhelmingly won the election in 18 out of the 19 LGAs, culminating in declaration and return of the 26 House of Assembly members by the Constituency Returning Officers.
He was induced —Awara
Reacting to the development, Awara said: “I have not received any correspondence or letter from him. I am just hearing it on social media. There has been no official message from him to me. But if it is true, it’s unfortunate that the governor could go to the extent of inducing people. We are trying to build a corrupt free society. After all the inducement I refused, he could turn a weak link, but I am still not sure my deputy would do that.”
He made the best decision —Wike
Receiving Yeeh at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said: “History will be on your side. You have shown that the interest of the state is above personal consideration. God will not only protect you, he will reward you for this decision. Rivers State is the only state we have. Everyone must work together to move this state forward. It is important to take this state to greater heights.”
Reacting, Secondus said, “This is a welcome development. It is an uncommon decision. You have taken a wise decision because you have the interest of the people at heart”
CSOs demand transfer of REC
Meanwhile, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Rivers State, CSOs, called on the Nigerian Police Force, Department of State Security Service, DSS, and Nigerian Army, to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, resumes collation of results.
It stated this during a peaceful demonstration to the office of the DSS and NPF, yesterday in Port Harcourt.
The CSOs also demanded the immediate transfer of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Obo Effanga, over alleged partisanship.