Few days to Nigeria’s presidential election, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, has has dumpped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accusing the APC of being a party of rebels and anarchists.
Ikuru is the deputy to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who is currently the campaign manager of the opposition APC ahead of Saturday’s presidential election.
Ikuru, had announced his defection in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Sunday.
He was former deputy governor to Celestine Omehia in 2007, before the duo was removed by the Supreme Court less than six months in office, but was retained by Amaechi as his deputy and the duo fought against the interests and allies of the former governor of the state, Peter Odili.
In his formal defection statement titled, “A call on the Conscience of the People of Rivers State,” Ikulu said he is compelled to address the people out of the fullness of heart.
Recalling events in December 2013, he said he, alongside other disillusioned people of the state, joined the APC out of extreme loyalty to his friend and boss, Amaechi.
“Ever since, as the true nature and motives of APC are unveiled, I have continued to twist and turn in extreme mental and emotional agony. The more I struggle to belong, the more the Rivers man in me rejects the APC,” Ikuru said.
“After carefully studying, interacting and analyzing the leadership of the party, I have come to the sad conclusion that the APC is a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in robes of pretense and deceit. APC is a party founded on deception and it thrives on unholy propaganda and falsehood.”
Based on these, Ikuru said he and his supporters have decided to denounce the APC and have jointly and severally resigned their membership of the party.
“My dear people of Rivers State,” the deputy governor continued, “we of this generation will not in good conscience expect forgiveness and compassion from our forebears, posterity, and the spirit of our unborn generations if it is recorded in the annals of history that after 48 years of Rivers people supporting leaders from all other parts of this country with our votes and resources, we were the same that witch hunted and hounded down the very first ever President from this region, granted us by providence. I wash my hands off this treachery.”
He, therefore, urged his supporters and the people of the state to vote for President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state, Nyesom Wike.
Amaechi, in his responese, said he only received news of his deputy’s resignation from the APC on Sunday evening.
Amaechi, who spoke through the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, said Ikuru’s resignation remains unofficial since he is yet to notify his principal of the move.
However, Amaechi noted that the reasons adduced by Ikuru for dumping the APC are shocking.
“Deputy Governor lkuru has consistently been the one driving political activities in his local government area of Andoni,” Amaechi said.
“He has also been the second in command driving politics and governance in Rivers State.
“Though the governor had hoped that the numerous rumours of Engr Ikuru’s double-faced membership of the APC and open romance with the PDP were not true, he however appreciates the fact that every individual has a right to pursue his political dreams, as he deems most appropriate.”
Amaechi added that it is regrettable that Mr. Ikuru has chosen the dishonourable path of bare faced lies and name-calling rather than the more honourable path of simply retracing his steps to where he has always been.
Meanwhile, the APC in Andoni, the hometown of Ikuru has described his defection as “A mere scratch on the surface of the towering popularity of APC in the State from the ward to the State.”
Speaking to Newsmen in Port Harcourt, a leader of the Party in Andoni Local Government, Hon Esuku Esuku described Tele Ikuru as an appendage of Prince Uchewaju Secondus who has been a mole in the system all these years.
Esuku said that the defection of Tele Ikuru was long expected since after he failed to secure the Governorship ticket on the platform of the APC.