There is a new twist to the controversy around the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State. The Deputy Governorship Candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Akpo Bomba Yeeh has resigned his position and announced his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
AAC was the main opponent of the PDP in the March 9 governorship election, whose results are still being awaited after collation of results from the 23 local government areas of the state were initially suspended two days after the election following reports of widespread violence, interference and hijacking of the process by the military.
INEC last Wednesday announced that supplementary elections in the state would take place in six local government areas and the eventual declaration of the results and return of elected candidates would take place in April.
But a new twist was introduced to the events on Monday when news filtered in that Yeeh, a former security personnel at the University of Port Harcourt, had resigned and defected to the PDP.
Later on, the letter of his resignation was circulated by the media unit of Government House, Port Harcourt and a press release issued later on, on the meeting between Yeeh and Governor Nyesom Wike.
The resignation letter by Yeeh addressed to the Governorship candidate of AAC, Biokpomabo Awara, read:
“NOTICE OF RESIGNATION OF MEMBERSHIP OF THE AFRICAN ACTION CONGRESS
“I write to most respectfully notify of my resignation from the membership of the African Action Alliance (AAC) with effect from today 25th March 2019 and subsequent defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Please note also that by this notice, I cease to be the Deputy Governorship Candidate of our Party, the AAC, for the 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State.
“My decisions were informed by the complete hijack of the structure and administration of our Party by a faction of the APC in Rivers State led by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for his personal political ambition.
“Furthermore, the Rotimi Amaechi led faction of the APC is not letting in its determination to subvert the will of Rivers people and cause crisis in the State using the platform of our promising Party.
“In the circumstance, I cannot in all conscience continue to lend support to the selfish political venture of the Minister of Transportation, which does not mean well for the progress and development of the people of Rivers State.
“As a budding and promising politician, I also appeal to you to accept the reality of your crushing defeat and liberate yourself from being used by Rotimi Amaechi to cause unnecessary political crisis in our dear State.
“Thank you very much and please accept the assurances of my highest regards as always.”
At the meeting with Wike, Yeeh alleged that there was a hijack of the AAC party machinery by the All progressives Congress, APC in the state and accused Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, of dictating to the AAC and its candidates what to do when they eventually form government.
He said, “Today, I am in your midst to declare my defection to the PDP. Governor Wike is a man of vision. He is a man of compassion. It is his compassion that endears him to the people of Rivers State. I choose to identify with him to move the state forward.
“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.”
Wike said history would be kind to Yeerh for placing Rivers interest above personal consideration. nAt the meeting were PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, Former Rivers State Governor, Celestine Omehia, Senator-elect Barry Mpigi and Sergeant Awuse.