Rivers APC And Controversy Over Defection Of Elected Councillors




Recently, some persons claiming to be councilors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, announced their defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Leader of the defectors, Tamunoemi Williams, who also claimed to be an elected councillor on Bonny local government area of the state, said over 200 councillors were defecting to the PDP and will soon withdraw their suit against the state government and the PDP,  that is presently before the Court of Appeal.
Williams stated their decision to defect to the PDP followed the decision of Chief Emeh Glory Emeh, a former commissioner for Transport and former Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, to dump the APC for the PDP.
But, in a swift reaction, the leadership of councillors elected on the platform of the APC in the state denied media reports that they have defected to the PDP.
But, the elected councillors, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, by the chairman, Dae Stephen Deegbara, also said they have no plans to withdraw their case at the Court of Appeal.
The statement reads in part, “It is on this note that we want to state clearly that none of our members from across the 319 wards of the state is defecting from our party APC to anywhere. None of our members have also defected.
“We also want to place on record that the Rivers APC Councillors Forumm under our leadership has no plan whatsoever to seek for the withdrawal or the discontinuation of our case before the Appeal Court Port Harcourt.
“Our case in court is at advance stage and we believe justice shall be served in no distance time. Our grassroots supporters from across the state is hereby assured that we shall pursue our case to a justifiable end.
“As a matter of fact, from records available to us at the state level of the Forum, there is no such councillor by the name ‘Tamunoemi
Williams’ on the list of our elected honorable members from Bonny LGA.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we’ve here list of authentic elected APC councillors with their contact information particularly from the 12 wards of Bonny LGA, as a proof that the said ‘Tamunoemi Williams’ is an impostor. He is not on our list of membership from Bonny LGA, he is not a councillor.
“On the strength of the above, it is now crystal clear that the said radio announcement has no atom of truth in it. It is mere figment of imagination of the gullible author struggling to satisfy his selfish desires .
“The leadership of the Rivers Councillors Forum, on behalf of 319 elected honorable members will like to unequivocally denounce this baseless defection rumours making the rounds.
“They are all false and are handiwork of mischief makers professionally crafted to deceive our supporters and some unsuspecting members of the public, and with the aim of setting confusion in our ranks.
“On behalf of the 319 APC elected councillors of Rivers State, we will like to seize this opportunity to pledge our unshakable loyalty and confidence in our party, APC under the able Leadership of Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“None of our councillors is defecting to nowhere. We remain steadfast and comfortable in the APC because we believe our future and destiny can be better guaranteed within the progressive family.”
Also, the leadership of APC in the state, in its own statement, berated Emeh, for deceiving Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike by presenting faceless, non-existent names and sometimes under-aged hirelings as defecting APC members in return for relevance and huge cash rewards.
The statement, which was signed by the state publicity secretary, Chris Finebone accused its former chieftain, Chief Emeh Glory Emeh, of presenting non-indigenes of the state to Wike as APC members who defected to the ruling PDP.
The statement reads in part, “The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken notice of what appears to be a smart but disingenuous method by Chief Glory Emeh to deceive Governor Nyesom Wike by presenting faceless, non-existent names and sometimes under-aged hirelings as defecting APC members in return for relevance and huge cash rewards.
“In pursuance to that scheme, Chief Emeh, having returned to the PDP alone, organised some unsuspecting villagers in his community, took photographs with them and circulated in the media as APC members that defected to the PDP in his LGA.
“His ongoing style is to bring in rented individuals from neighbouring states in buses to his expansive compound and making audio and visual images of them for the media as APC defectors.
“Feeling that he has not been very convincing to Governor Wike, Chief Emeh put in the media this morning that some  elected APC Councillors have defected to the PDP and would soon write to withdraw their matter in the Appeal Court. This is far from the truth as the name mentioned as leading the defectors is non-existent and not known to anyone.
“However, a cursory scrutiny and various calls from the various LGAs clearly indicate that no such names mentioned as Councillors exist.
They are non-existent names churned out by Emeh to convincingly deceive Gov. Wike to ensure fatter payouts and relevance.”
To Emeh, the reaction of APC to the decfection of its members into the PDP in the past three months is natural.
He said, “It is no doubt painful, without sounding immodest to lose a politician of my experience, capacity and capability. So I appreciate the pains APC and their leaders are experiencing because of  my exit, but I have no apologies. The worst enemy of a person or group is when you tell yourself lies.
”It is quite obvious that APC knows that they are losing members in droves, alleging lack of direction and leadership in the party, this cannot be controverted as doing so would amount to living in fool’s paradise. The fact that over 200 out of 319 councillorship candidates who are in court with the PDP are set to dump their matter in court and empty into the PDP is also not debatable as the reality would be dawn on Chris Finebone and indeed the APC in the next couple of weeks.
“How Chris Finebone, the so called docile APC Publicity Secretary know what is happening when he is only a ‘copy reporter’ journalist, who only reacts rather than being proactive.
“How else can you describe such party than give it the correct title of a sunken ship. The movement of APC  members to PDP, a more stable and organised party does not require any imagination as ceremonies of the defections are both in pictures and video, and have been aired in several electronic media and copies are available to anybody who would wish to see and watch. APC is gone and gone forever in Rivers State, and this is no longer news to her members.
“It does not matter how much ‘window dressing’ the docile publicity secretary act his copy typist script which he reads to the press.
Governor Wike has conquered and taken over the political landscape in the state forever.”
Although, the Emohua-born politician was received into the fold of the PDP by executives of the party at his ward in Emohua local government area of the state, he has so far received defectors from Okrika, Omuma, Emohua, Ahoada-East and Abua-Odual local government areas, who joined him in the PDP.
When Emeh formally announced his defection to the PDP, he alleged that internal wrangling as well as emergence of factions within the APC as his reasons for abandoning the country’s ruling party.
He stated that three factions, led by the minister of Transportation, Amaechi, the senator representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe and the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, respectively.
Recall that immediately after Emeh’s defection and claim that the party was factionalized, the leadership of APC, denied the claims that it had broken into factions, insisting that all of its members in the state are still intact.
Addressing newsmen after a meeting of elected and appointed officials of the party in Port Harcourt, Ambassador-designate and deputy national secretary of APC, accused an unnamed former member of the party for being behind the allegation of factions within the party.
Ngofa said, “Political parties often operate open-door policy because the game of politics is a game of numbers. In the Nigerian political milieu, change of parties is common especially since the present democratic journey that began in 1998.
“However, very recently we have seen individuals from the opposition decamp and join our party, the APC. While some of the persons have
teamed up with us to add value to the business of our party, a few have turned out to be moles in search of pecuniary benefits.

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