The Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, on Thursday restated his support for power to be rotated in the state in spite of being criticised for the position.
Amaechi made the assertion in Port Harcourt at a defection ceremony of “I See U’’, a socio-political group from the Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress (APC).
Amaechi, represented by Senator-elect, Chief Andrew Uchendu (Rivers East), said he would continue to be blunt in spite of attacks on his person on the basis of his political position and opinion.
“I have been crucified, misunderstood, accused of being disrespectful and blunt because of my position on rotation in Rivers but I sincerely stand on it; power must rotate in this state.
“I am an Ikwerre man, we held power for eight years and by default another Ikwerre man is in the government house.
“It is important that in a multi-ethnic and plural state like Rivers, power must be seen to rotate to maintain equity and fairness; this is why people want to crucify me,’’ he said.
Amaechi urged the defectors to join hands with APC to elect a government that would represent justice in 2019.
“We are Rivers people, we all own this state; it’s not anybody’s private property.
“Be assured that you all have stakes in this party, and so the welfare of all citizens of Rivers is our responsibility,’’ he said.
According to the minister, as the opposition party in the state, they will continue to encourage Gov. Wike to do the right things via constructive criticism.
“Nobody is an island of knowledge; we must make him to learn from good Nigerians, emulate other people and bring the dividends of democracy to the state.
“We want a state where the federal allocations are properly utilised to the benefit of the people,’’ he added.
Earlier, the National Leader of the “I See U’’ group, Mr Chizi Nyeomasila, said that he was defecting with his members to the APC because Gov. Wike had turned himself into a super sole administrator.
Nyeomasila said that Rivers people were not participating in the governance of the state because the governor carried on as if he knew all.
He claimed that the group had 108,000 members in the state and would ensure that they were all registered by the APC.
“What we are having today is executive defection, 15 executive members from each of the wards in the state.
“We will empty our members into the APC, and I assure you that PDP will fail in 2019.’’
A chieftain of APC, Dr Sokonte Davies, said that the group defected because Gov. Wike could not separate politics from governance.
Davies said people had come to realise that there was no governance in the state, rather the governor was more interested in politics.
“As politicians, we know that there is a time for politics but the governor is ready to play politics from May 29, 2015 to May, 29 2019.
Davies, who is the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), said that most Rivers people were hoodwinked with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s syndrome as a brother.
“The people have realised that it didn’t work and will not work in 2019, so they are now ready to elect a government they deserve.
“I have seen the representatives from my local government area; I can say that this is a quality move that will enhance the APC at the grassroots,’’ he said.