The political saga unfolding in Rivers State has reached an interesting juncture, with 27 members of the State House of Assembly making a significant defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Affirming the political realignment, Enemi George, a member of the Assembly, stated to Channels Television that the 27 lawmakers, with Martin Amaewhule at the helm, had collectively decided to switch affiliations.He stated that the decision to defect was unanimously reached during their Monday morning sitting.
Over the past few weeks, Amaewhule and another member, Edison Ehie, have been entangled in a Speakership contest. Amaewhule is perceived to align with ex-governor Nyesom Wike, while Ehie is recognized as being in the camp of Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
In October, under Amaewhule’s leadership, the Assembly initiated an impeachment notice against the governor and dismissed Ehie as the House leader. Almost immediately, Assembly members loyal to Fubara impeached Amaewhule and elected Ehie as the new Speaker.
The crisis in the 32-member Assembly had begun as a result of a rift between Fubara and his predecessor, Wike, who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
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Though the two politicians have both attended same public events in the last few weeks and all seemed to have been settled but with Monday’s defection of 27 lawmakers from the PDP to the APC, more drama might unfold in the state’s political arena.
Political dynamics saw members from the SDP and APC making a formal transition to the PDP over the weekend, placing their allegiance under the leadership of Fubara.
Spearheading the defection from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the APC were prominent figures, including Patricia Ogbonnaya, the deputy governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2023 election, and Karibo Wilson, former Ahoada-West Chairman.
The defection saw the movement of not only Patricia Ogbonnaya and Karibo Wilson but also a considerable number of their supporters and other party executives.
Opting for a political realignment, the politicians abandoned their former parties and pledged their support to the PDP faction loyal to Fubara.
Also in attendance were some of the Ehie-led group of lawmakers, with the member representing Ahoada West, Goodboy Sokari representing the governor alongside Oko Jumbo from Bonny Constituency.