The leaders of the opposition All Progressives Congress, led by former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, party Chairman Bisi Akande and former Governor Bola Tinubu have arrived the Rivers Government House, Port Harcourt.
An elaborate reception ceremony is being held for them.
UPDATE 1: Some of the APC leaders in attendance are Buhari, Akande, Tinubu, former Speaker of the House of Representative, Aminu Masari, former Governor John Oyegun, National Vice Chairman of the APC for the South South, Tom Ikimi …
UPDATE 2: Deputy Chairman of the New PDP, Sam Jaja, is now speaking. The crowd is massive here. It is a massive political carnival. There is a lot of dancing and rejoicing.
UPDATE 3: Mr. Jaja welcomed the visitors and promised that the leadership of Rivers state is ready to lay down their lives to defend the state and its people.
UPDATE 4: APC Chairman, Bisi Akande, described Governor Amaechi as bundle of courage, a brilliant man being persecuted. “He is a leader of the leaders. And we think we will not go home without asking you, through him to join the APC. APC is the party of the progressives and that is where Rivers state belongs.”
UPDATE 5: Tinubu said amidst cheers: “We were ready to come yesterday but the airspace was blocked. We did not want to offend anybody so we put our visit for today.
“Amaechi is a progressive. He is a visionary. He is focused. We know the basis of his persecution. It is because he fought for the oil and revenue of Rivers state. He is doing well. He is giving our children the greatest weapon against poverty – education.
“I urge you to ask Governor Amaechi to lead you to the APC. The progressives are offering the rescue boat. This is a mission to rescue Nigeria.”
UPDATE 6: Ikimi speaks: “We have seen for ourself that Rotimi Amaechi is indeed in charge of Rivers state. This young man is prepared to pursue his believe to the last, based on courage and conviction. It is on these principles that APC was formed. With APC, there is an alternative platform and there is a balance of power.
“APC means Aspirin, Panadol, Codeine. When you have strong headache, you take these drugs.
“APC also means Armoured Personnel Carrier. You use it to move forward when yeye police stop you.”
UPDATE 7: Buhari: “We are here to seek understanding and support from you through your leader, Governor Amaechi. I worked with one of your greatest assets, Prof Tam David West.
“Nigeria is at a crossroad and that is why we decided to come together to rescue this country from destruction. We must get together and get this country moving again. I congratulate Gov. Amaechi for providing education for the people of the state.”
UPDATE 8: It is now time for goodwill messages from leaders and politicians from the state. The chairmen of the 23 local govts have mounted the stage and are dancing. They are all expected to speak on behalf of their local governments.
UPDATE 9: A local government chairman and chairman of ALGON in the state, is speaking. He says, “We need to move away from the current cluelessness, visionlessness and purposefullessness. We need to embrace patriotism. Wherever our leader (Amaechi) leads us, we will follow because we have no reason to doubt his ability to lead us well.”
UPDATE 10: Speaker of Rivers House assures the visitor that wherever Amaechi goes, they will go. “We are aware he has been holding nocturnal meetings with the APC. The House wants him to hurry up. Let the marriage happens. We are tired of the dating before someone will have children outside wedlock.”
UPDATE 11: Everyone here is waiting on Governor Amaechi to respond to the invitation by the APC to join them.
UPDATE 12: Members of the National Assembly from Rivers are now billed to speak. They are being led by Senator Magnus Abe, who is dressed in all white.
UPDATE 13: Member of the House of Representatives, Andrew Uchendu: “We have heard all the APC said. You have made very strong case inviting us. We have given our mandate to Rivers governor to discuss with you. Of 3 senators, he has 2 backing him. Of 13 members of House of Reps, he has 10. Of 32 members of the state House of Assembly, 27 are backing him.”
UPDATE 14: Magnus Abe: “Rivers people have elected a leader. We have elected a governor. His name is Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. You have our support. Any party that is serious about discipline must respect its own rules. It must allow its members to hold dissenting views. We are standing by our sons and will continue to stop him. Some of those talking today supported Babangida and Atiku. We did not stone them because Rivers is home for all.”
UPDATE 15: Master of Ceremony says: “This person (Amaechi), each time they give him ginger ginger, they give him swagger swagger.”
UPDATE 16: Amaechi turns musician, singing and dancing. He appears extremely happy.
UPDATE 17: Amaechi: “A lot of people are wondering why I have been dancing since the burial (of Patience Jonathan’s mum). When you have God behind you, there is no one else. We have been hearing ‘we will remove him, we will remove him’. Have I been removed? They said they will remove us on the 11. Eleven is Monday. I will dance. The second reason I danced at Okrika is that they said they will stone me at Okrika. I went and it didn’t happen.”
“Most of the people on the other side are corrupt. They are thieves. They get contracts from the NNDC and the Niger Delta ministry and then go ahead to use the money to build hotels. One of they got 17 billion contract to build a road from Eleme to Imo Rivers. Is there a road there? They have served and are now hungry.
“They are so desperate that they have gone to hire Commissioner Mbu as the military wing of the PDP. One thing you should know is that the police will come after you. The only way to stop them is the people’s power. When you hear of impunity, It’s because you allow it. When you hear that Amaechi is courageous, it’s because I take risk. You must come out when we ask you to do so. There is no revolution without blood. The only revolution without blood is reform.
“Anyday they are ready for a debate, I’m ready. I call them thieves, let them reply me.
“To our APC guests, I like to say we are a group of seven governors. In that group, I’m perculiar because the president is from our zone. So regarding your invitation, I will consult our leaders, I will consult my party, I will consult even the president. He is from our zone. I will consult all the consultables!
“But the day we will take a decision, it will be at that our new stadium. It has the capacity to take 40,000 people. Tinubu, and the president will address 40,000 people. So we need to go out and continue to grow our number.
“They have money, they have the police, they have the army. The only thing we have is our people.
UPDATE 18: Immediately after his speech, the governor led his APC guests out of the venue, drawing the event to a close.
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