Some egg heads of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State have cross carpeted to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Legal Adviser Chima Obinna; former lawmaker and two-time Commissioner John Bazie; and Dr. Ipalibo Jenberetoa George (former lawmaker who represented Asari-Toru II); Ibinabo Michael West (governorship aspirant and ex-Commissioner for Transport); Chief Salvation Ezegwogwo (business mogul from Ahoada-East) and Johnny Soye Lulu-Barango joined APC.
They were welcomed at the APC secretariat on Long Aba Road, Port Harcourt, at the weekend. Party leader and Minister of Transportation Chibuike Amaechi, and Zonal National Chairman Victor Giadom received the defectors.
Amaechi used the medium to recount his life and recall his achievements as governor, especially in human and capital development.
He said: “There is not up to 10 per cent of politicians here who did not pass through me. I don’t drink, I have never tasted alcohol in my life, I don’t smoke, I am not tribalistic. If I were, I would have accepted tempting offers by the former president to remain in PDP, but I insisted that I will never leave President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I built projects in every village. We will challenge PDP to show us such projects in every village in the state. By the time I left government, my indebtedness was N17 billion, I challenge them if they have not borrowed up to N500 billion.
“During my tenure, I built all the federal roads to the tune of N104 billion. When the Federal Government said it could only pay N78 billion, I was not selfish to kill it. If I am evil, I could have killed it in the cabinet by simply lobbying my colleagues to never allow it see the light of the day, since I am no longer a governor, but not only did I argue that they must pay governors who worked on federal roads, but I insisted the money was not enough.
“Rivers’ interest is primary to me. Outside that, Nigerians interest is equally paramount to me.”
Amaechi urged the defectors to work for the return of APC to the State House and Aso Rock in 2023. He hoped their entrance to the party will bring positive changes.
Bazie described APC as a visionary party that would take the state to the next level, against the ‘cut and nail leadership being experienced presently’.
“The cut and nail leadership we have presently is over. In 2023, APC will usher in visionary leader that will take us to next level.
“Building flyover bridges without expansion makes no difference to the quest for development we crave for. So, when APC returns to power in 2023, our visionary leader, who was a governor, will bring his development vision back to build new cities,” he added.
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim neither answered his calls nor responded to text messages.
He also did not return the calls.