Thousands of Peoples Democratic Party supporters in Rivers State on Thursday defected to the All Progressives Congress with a declaration that they were defecting to help in dislodging the ruling party in the state come 2019.
The defectors, who are members of the I See You Group in the state, said they decided to defect to the APC because they were not getting dividends of democracy at the state level.
The national leader of the group, Mr. Chizi Nyeomasila, said members of the group were at least 108,000 in number, adding that they were card-carrying members of the PDP before their defection on Thursday.
Nyeomasila explained that about 8,500 delegates from the 23 local government areas, including non-indigenes, came for the official defection to represent their members from the various wards and LGAs in the state.
He said, “In 2015, we played a vital role in the PDP’s victory, and in the last election, we mobilised over 100,000 persons for the party. That made them to win the election. After the elections, we also mobilised against the APC and went to court against the local government elections.
“Today (Thursday), we are here to officially declare for the APC. We left the PDP two months ago and we are now back to the APC. We have come to find out that the PDP is certainly not going to where we’re going, and where we are going is a place of peace, a place of wealth and godliness.”
In his remarks, an APC chieftain in the state, Mr. Sekonte Davies, described the defection as a “massive move” that would enhance the victory of the party in the state.
Also, the state APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ikanya, who received the defectors, assured that there would be no discrimination against any of them.
But, the state PDP Chairman, Chief Felix Obuah, disowned the I See You Group, describing members of the group as “political jobbers.”
Obuah, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Jerry Needam, said, “We don’t know them. They never worked for the PDP and they are not card-carrying members of the PDP. The insignificant group and few political jobbers never existed throughout the last election.
“They can best be described as APC members and political jobbers looking for food and relevance. They are of no significant importance in Rivers politics. They are not even registered voters and couldn’t lay claim to any ward or unit in Rivers State.”