Anxiety returns in Rivers as 27 pro-Wike lawmakers dump PDP for APC

TWENTY-SEVEN lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The defectors, under Martin Amaewhule’s leadership, comprise members loyal to the state’s former governor and current minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.

Moments after the defection on Monday, December 11, the lawmakers were seen waving the APC flag in viral videos on social media.

The 27 lawmakers are among the 32 members of the state House of Assembly.

The ICIR reports that the defection came on the heels of the political tension rocking the state party politics.

There have been fears in the state following news of a rift between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Wike.

Wike handed over to Fubara on May 29, 2023, after concluding his two terms of four years apiece. Fubara is widely believed to be Wike’s political godson.

Anxiety among people in the state was heightened in October when the state House of Assembly moved to impeach the governor, a day after fire gutted the Assembly.

Fubara claimed that he was shot at by military officials while on his way to assess the damage done to the Assembly as a result of the fire on Monday, October 30.

After the fire incident, impeachment actions were initiated against the governor by some members of the House of Assembly believed to be loyal to Wike.

The Majority Leader Ehie Edison, known to be the governor’s ally, was removed. in the botched attempt to impeach the governor.

    Fubara was accused of masterminding the inferno as part of efforts to frustrate his impeachment.

    When this report was filed, Wike and Fubara remained in the PDP. It is unclear whether the lawmakers’ defection is a ploy to succeed with Fubara’s impeachment or to mainstream the state’s politics into the APC, which controls power at the federal level.

    President Bola Tinubu appointed Wike, a PDP member, in August into his cabinet. He has since been seen as a bigwig in the PDP.

    The ICIR further reports that with the lawmakers’ defection, more developments are expected in the Rivers state politics in the next few days.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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