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Rivers Crisis: 27 out of the 32 Rivers Lawmakers dump PDP for APC

A total of 27 Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have announced their defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All-Progressives Congress (APC).

These lawmakers are believed to be loyalists of the former governor of the State and the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.

The lawmakers, including the factional Speaker, Rt. Hon. Matthew Amaewhule, announced their defection, in a letter read on the floor of the Assembly on Monday.

In addition, Enemi George, a member of the Assembly, confirmed to newsmen that the 27 legislators were under the guidance of Martin Amaewhule.

He said the decision was taken during their sitting on Monday morning.

In the letter signed by all 27 lawmakers and addressed to the state’s acting chairman of PDP, the defectors attribute their decision to quit the PDP to the division within the party’s national leadership.

Backstory

For weeks, Amaewhule and Edison Ehie have been entangled in a Speakership rivalry.

In October, the Assembly issued an impeachment notice to Governor Siminalayi Fubara, citing Amaewhule’s leadership.

Consequently, they ousted Ehie from the position of House leader. However, Fubara’s loyal Assembly members swiftly impeached Amaewhule, appointing Ehie as the new Speaker.

A dispute between Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), triggered the crisis in the 32-member Assembly.

The relationship between Wike and Fubara is said to have gone sour following the threat by the Assembly to impeach the governor.

Some have accused Wike of being the brain behind the impeachment plot.

Both Wike and Fubara are of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). But Wike noted that internal wranglings are common in politics and will be settled using the party’s mechanisms.

  • “In politics, there are a lot of internal wranglings,” he said.
  • “But to come out and say, ‘Oh they want to do this against me, it will not work.’ I had every power then to say where this thing is going. So, when things are wrong, you ask questions. It is a party affair. The party knows how they resolve their mechanism, it is not an ethnic affair.
  • “Our party is coming to it, that is what I will say. Every politician has his interest,” the former governor added.

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