Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday threatened to quit the ruling People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and declare for any other political party if the PDP makes the reversal of the suspension of Obio/Akpor local council executives as a condition for readmitting him to the party.
Mr. Amaechi issued the threat while responding to questions by the Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Niger Delta Diocese, Rev. Ignatius C. Kattey, at the 60th birthday thanksgiving service of the former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), O.C.J. Okocha (SAN) in Port Harcourt.
Accoring to the embattled governor, the PDP should not give him impossible conditions over the Obio/Akpor crisis, pointing out that he was never the one who ordered the suspension of the council officials, but the state House of Assembly.
“If they suffocate us in PDP and we need to move, we move,” the governor told the gathering, pointing out that the law that empowered the lawmakers to suspend council officials also empowered him to dissolve the executive.
He continued, “If they (PDP) reverse it tomorrow, there is one more option left to me, I can dissolve the entire executive. The police can remain there as much as they want, it is Obio/Akpor people’s problem; the money is going nowhere. We have saved you too, because the reason they suspended the executives is because they said, ‘let us investigate the place because there was corruption.’
“If they investigate and the chairman and the councillors are not corrupt, they will call them back. But if they go to court to try to stop them, they will do their function. I want to hear the court say they have no right to do their function. Whatever the court says is what the Rivers State Government will do. We will obey the court, but outside that, nobody, not even PDP, can give me condition. Is there only one party in Nigeria? Why would they give me condition? They will not give me condition.
“I lead the people of Rivers State and I will lead you. If they suffocate us in PDP and we need to move, we move! We will continue to struggle for our rights, and that includes our oil wells. You will hear the truth of this fight in December, January. I will address the state and I will tell you the truth of the fight.
“The fight is not between me and these people here, they are not a problem to me. But when election comes, the Rivers people will be given the chance to choose who they want,” he said.
The Bishop had sought to know from Mr. Amaechi if he had been given the re-instatement of the suspended executives of Obio/Akpor council as a condition for ending the crisis in the state chapter of the PDP, and what the governor was doing about it.
Mr. Kattey also asked the governor to tell the truth concerning whether indeed there was an election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) that returned him as chairman.
In his reponse, Mr. Amaechi said: “I don’t lie. If I will go to hell, lie wouldn’t be one of the reasons for my going to hell. Take it from me, those who lie don’t have courage, I have them in quantum; my children have excess of courage.
“Your Grace, there was an election. Your Grace, they are not denying that there was an election. They said before the election some people have signed documents for them, and they were 19, but in contesting the election, those 19 changed their minds and voted for me, and when the battle was on, it was clear that it was between the ‘Villa’ and me, and I won.
“There was an election and they were properly defeated and they saw the consequences of defeat. It is a Governors’ Forum I have led for two years. Even the 16 that voted for my opponent told me ‘you were wonderful as the chairman, but you know where the pressure is coming from and we can’t avoid the pressure. I won and won well, tomorrow morning, I will win again.”