APC chieftain expresses concern over defections to PDP in Rivers
• As Amaechi, Abe’s candidates to contest chairmanship position
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, has expressed concern over the flurry of defections of its members to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He attributed the development to the economic situation in the country, saying: “If the offer on the other side attracts them and allows them to achieve their objective, caters for their needs, there is nothing anyone can do about it.
“Although I am still worried, there is a solution. The challenges in Rivers APC remain an internal matter and the highest levels of the party’s leadership have put measures in place to resolve them. Merit and patience will soon be rewarded.”
Princewill, a former governorship candidate, declared that in 2023, individual will matter more than the party, because, Nigerians have suffered so much.
The Guardian recalled that over 20 leaders of the APC and their supporters defected to PDP and while receiving them in Port Harcourt, Governor Nyesom Wike, pledged equal opportunity for all PDP members.
It was also learnt that the chairmanship election may be a heated contest as candidates loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi and a loyalist of Magnus Abe have indicated interest in the position ahead of tomorrow’s APC state congresses.
A former leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly and loyalist to Abe, Golden Chioma, is jostling for the chairmanship position, while Amaechi’s loyalists, Chief Emeka Bekee and Chizi Onyemazila, are also top contenders.
Already, there are disagreements between Abe’s supporters and Amaechi’s loyalists on the election slated for tomorrow.
Some stakeholders, Innocent Ajaelo, has demanded the postponement of the congress for reconciliation between Amaechi and Abe’s factions, while Livingstone Wechie, argued that genuine settlement might not work in the state APC.
MEANWHILE, Chairman, Media and Publicity Secretary of the state APC Congress Planning Committee, Sogbeye Eli, told The Guardian, yesterday, that more candidates had indicated interest in the party’s chairmanship position.
He said: “Some persons bought forms in the state, while some others bought forms in Abuja. So, we are not sure of the number yet until members of the committee, who will conduct the congresses arrive Port Harcourt with the complete list.”
He also stressed that ensuring peace and unity in Rivers APC would be determined by the party’s national leadership, adding: “In all political settings, everyone does not agree at all times, but there will be a solution that will ultimately enable the party to take over the state government in 2023.”