Why We Joined APC – Gov Amaechi

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Governor Chibuike Amaechi has confirmed his final move to the All Progressive, Congress (APC).
Governor Amaechi shortly after arriving from Abuja at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa yesterday told newsmen, “yes, I have moved to APC this morning after the meeting we had with Buhari, Tinubu and Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande.”
On the prospects of the reconciliatory meeting between President Jonathan and the G-7 governors, Amaechi responded, “I can’t answer because if you look at the press release by Niger State governor, he said he will join us after a meeting with the President. I don’t know whether we are qualified for the meeting anymore. I agree with him that we were supposed to have gone for the meeting because the meeting was supposed to be last Sunday but the President said he was indisposed. So the governors met on Monday and decided to meet with the APC leadership today (Tuesday). And the position we took if you look at the press release was to better democracy and ensure that Nigeria moves forward.”
“We can’t continue the way we are. The picture painted by the PDP is as if we were begging to come back to the PDP and the issues raised were not being looked into and so it’s important that we resolve it one way or the other. What has happened is that those of us in the new PDP have decided to move into the APC with our supporters, to position ourselves for the next elections”, he said.
Asked of his message to Rivers people and his teeming supporters the governor replied, “they must know that I am no longer a child. For me to have taken that decision, I had looked at the general interest of Rivers people. I am not elected to lead Nigeria. I am elected to lead Rivers State. And I have looked at the interest of Rivers people and seen that it is not being protected by the PDP. I had seen the fact that we were losing our oil wells both in Etche and in Kalabari areas, and the more we continue to bicker over these things, the more we continue to lose our wealth. At the last time we were third, but before we used to be the first in the country. So we can’t continue in that kind of situation.”
When asked if he consulted widely before taking the decision, Governor Amaechi said, “I did. I reached out to as many persons as possible and I continue to let them know that there is no way out of this situation than to move out of the PDP because we have seen the point where we were losing. I had said to everybody (points to the airport) look at the airport. Just look at the airport. How many developments have you seen the PDP execute in Rivers State?”
Former Vice-President Abubabar Atiku said the defection of the Peoples Democratic Party governors to the All Progressives Congress was a positive step.
Atiku, in a statement in Abuja, said, “I believe in a true democracy based on freedom of association as guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution.
“I also long for a day where we celebrate a multi-party system where political parties make improving the lives of Nigerians their top priority, instead of our current politics of corrupt cronyism and personal destruction. Today’s news is a positive step in both directions.”
On whether the PDP has collapsed in Rivers State following his movement to the APC, the governor responded, “I don’t know about that. Rivers people would choose in 2015.”
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) also stated that he does not have any personal grouse with President Jonathan as painted in most quarters, however said, “what the issues were, affect Rivers people and we are part of Nigeria. I am a Nigerian and I have to address those issues.”
While expressing respect for the office of the President, Amaechi said as an elected governor of Rivers State, I have the responsibility of leading Rivers people till 2015” and added that the development will allow him concentrate on the development and governance of Rivers State which is paramount to him now.
Speaking on the issue, the member representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency, Hon. Dakuku Peterside described the development as a watershed in our nation’s democratic journey, adding that “the beneficiary is the Nigerian people and democracy and democratic culture can never be the same again. “Our democratic institutions will be strengthened by implication and never again will the people be taken for granted,” he said.
The PDP governors and other members of Alhaji Kawu Baraje’s led new PDP had merged with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Acting National Chairman of the new PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje had announced the decision after their meeting with APC leadership which was held at Kano Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.
A statement to this effect was read by the National Chairman of the nPDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, after talks between the faction and APC leaders.
The statement signed by the National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande and Alhaji Baraje reads: “A meeting of the leadership of APC and the New PDP met this morning at the residence of the Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in Abuja. After exhaustive deliberations, the two parties agreed to merge in order to rescue our fledgling democracy.”
Reacting, the Presidency said that it was not threatened by the defection of the splinter group to the opposition party, APC.
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Affair, Ahmed Gulak, said yesterday, when he spoke with the State House Correspondence at the Presidential Villa.
“The presidency does not feel threatened and the PDP does not feel threatened. PDP is the party to beat. We have had it before even people who had occupied higher offices left the party and came back. Outside there, there is nothing, it is empty. PDP is the only party,” he said.
He added that the party and the presidency welcomed the development because it would end the distractions that had been going on.
Gulak said, “For a long time, I have said it that their hearts have not been in PDP. It is good that they have told the world that they have taken a stand so that PDP will not be distracted. PDP as a party will be focused to build our party because a lot of people are waiting for this moment. “A lot of people in the APC have contacted me severally that they want to come back to PDP. They said they were just waiting for what happened today to happen, and to us, it is a good development.
Gulak, however, said if the group decided to return to the PDP fold, they would be welcomed back.
“We are talking about peace and reconciliation is an ongoing process. If they go outside there like those that went there before them and taste that the outside there is empty they are always welcomed back home like we did before,” he said.

L-R: Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Dr. Christy Atako, representative of the Rivers State Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Garba Gabriel, Director, Human Resources Management, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Mr. Sonnice Aruya and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Linus Awute, during an interactive session with federal civil servants in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
L-R: Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Dr. Christy Atako, representative of the Rivers State Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Garba Gabriel, Director, Human Resources Management, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Mr. Sonnice Aruya and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Linus Awute, during an interactive session with federal civil servants in Port Harcourt, yesterday.