Rivers state Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is yet to recover from the shock of the defection of his Deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru.
From information filtering in from Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, Governor Amaechi, who is also the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, was taken by surprise by his Deputy who jumped ship only six days to the Saturday, March 28 presidential election.
Sources said the embattled governor, who was back to Port- Harcourt after a campaign tour with APC presidential team had barely settled down when the disturbing news broke.
Interestingly, Governor Amaechi claimed the Deputy Governor did not officially inform him or the APC leadership before he returned to the party that brought him to power in 2007.
“The River State Governor, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had only this evening received the news of the resignation of his Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru from the All Progressives Congress.
“Whilst the news remains unofficial at this time as the deputy governor is yet to notify His Excellency the governor of this move, Governor Amaechi however wishes Engr. Ikuru all the best in his future political endeavours.
“He however wishes to note that the reasons adduced by Engr. Ikuru are shocking since as deputy governor, lkuru had consistently been the one driving political activities in his local government area of Andoni and has been the second in command driving politics and governance in Rivers state.
“On a personal note, Governor Amaechi accorded Engr Ikuru all the privileges and respect due the office of the deputy governor and had treated him with love as a friend and brother.
“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.
“It is however regrettable that Engr. Ikuru had chosen the dishonourable path of bare -faced lies retracing his steps to name calling rather than the more honourable path of simply retracing his steps to where he had always been”, Ibim Semenitari, Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications said in a statement on Sunday, March 22, 2015,confirming Ikuru’s defection.
River state Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru announced he had decamped from the APC to the PDP on Sunday, March 22, 2015.
In an address entitled A call on the conscience of the people of Rivers State, the deputy governor said the address was delivered out of the fullness of his heart.
“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.
“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 pretence and deceit. APC is a party founded on deception and it thrives on unholy propaganda and falsehood”.
Ikuru said his decision was centred on the fact that he would not want to be listed as part of a generation that would witch hunt and hound down the very first president from the South South.
And that’s President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking reelection this Saturday.
“I wash my hands off this treachery and in the light of the above, I wish to urge all my supporters, the good people of Rivers State to join hands with other well-meaning Nigerians to massively vote for President Goodluck Jonathan and the Transformation Agenda that has brought so much relief and succour to the greatest number of Nigerians.”
He also enjoined his supporters and all Rivers people to vote for the PDP guber candidate, Chief Nyesom Wike (CON), whom he said, had shown, by his antecedents, track records and boundless capabilities that he will deliver good governance to the people of Rivers State.
Meanwhile,the ruling party in Rivers State, the APC has reportedly called the deputy governor a traitor. Addressing newsmen after he announced his defection to the PDP, the chairman of the party in Rivers State, Davies Ikanya, said his exit will not affect the political fortunes of the party in the forthcoming elections.
The social media has also been awash with unconfirmed reports claiming that Amaechi has dressed down his erstwhile party member, calling him a mole planted by the opposition. He was also quoted as saying he wouldn’t have left the PDP if he knew his deputy would abandon him at the last minute. The rumour mongers also said Amaechi is apprehensive that his commissioners and members of the Rivers House of Assembly would soon dump him.
In fact, the rumour mill even had it that 21 commissioners and 16 members of the House of Assembly left with the deputy governor while Amaechi is now contemplating exile before the general elections.
But one of Governor Amaechi’s associates who spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on condition of anonymity on Monday, March 23, 2015, said there was nothing to fear, even as the Governor is not moved by the turn of events in the state.
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi defected to the opposition APC with four other PDP governors in November 2013. And there had been no crack in the relationship between him and his deputy, with whom he had been campaigning for the APC candidates, before he returned to the PDP last Sunday.
– UCHE OLEHI