The deputy governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Akpo Yeeh, has defected from his party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and has declared support for Governor Nyesom Wike.
The AAC, backed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, emerged the major opposition party against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State after the court barred Mr Amaechi’s All Progressives Congress (APC) from being on the ballot because of an internal struggle within the party.
Governorship and the House of Assembly elections are yet to be concluded in the state.
Mr Wike, the governorship candidate of the PDP, is seeking re-election for a second term. He has been facing a tough battle from the APC and Mr Amaechi, who is Mr Wike’s political archrival.
The election battle most often gets bloody, leading to several people getting killed or injured.
Mr Yeeh on Monday visited Mr Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt, to formally inform the governor that he was no longer a deputy governorship candidate of the AAC.
“I officially announce the withdrawal of my candidacy for the AAC. My loyalty is with the PDP. I cannot afford to leave the fast lane and go to the slow lane,” a government house statement quoted Mr Yeeh as telling Governor Wike, in the presence of the national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus.
The Rivers government has been gloating over the political development, circulating photos of Mr Yeeh’s visit on Facebook and Twitter.
Governor Wike said history would be kind to Mr Yeeh for “placing Rivers interest above personal consideration”.
Apparently referring to Mr Amaechi, the governor said the interest of one man cannot be bigger than the interest of the state.
“You are welcome to the party that will move the state forward,” the governor said.
“Those on the other side must understand that you cannot kill people, just to be in power. With this bold decision, our brothers on the other side know that the end has come,” he added.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the electoral process in the Rivers’ governorship and the House of Assembly elections because of violence and other irregularities.
INEC has said it would resume the collation of results in the state from April 2 to April 5.