THERE appears to be palpable fear in the camp of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State as speculations were rife on Monday that six commissioners in Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s cabinet were set to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party on or before Friday.
Amaechi’s deputy, Mr. Tele Ikuru, had defected to the PDP on Sunday with a promise that his supporters would soon join him in his new party.
Though five commissioners were seen to be Amaechi’s die-hard supporters, other commissioners could be well out of the APC and were only waiting for the right time.
A source in the Government House, Port Harcourt, told our correspondent that he could only vouch for commissioners in charge of Information, Agriculture, Works and two other ministries, adding that those who stood for pecuniary gains could defect to the PDP.
“Yes, the deputy governor has defected and you will agree with me that he (Ikuru) has supporters who will definitely want to go with him. We are suspecting them already and very soon, they will show themselves.
“But one thing is clear, the Amaechi they are betraying has always stood by them. Amaechi does not betray anybody and anything he tells you today, check in the next 20 years, he will still maintain his stand,” the source said.
Also a House of Assembly source told our correspondent that he could no longer vouch for all the state legislators because some of them now believed in stomach infrastructure.
He insisted that some members of the House who believed in integrity would continue to stay with the governor.
Though, the Assembly source did not mention any member likely to defect to the PDP, he said it would be unnecessary to assume that the 25 APC lawmakers were still intact.
“The PDP may have infiltrated them within the past 12 months and you must know that those who would leave by this time believe in stomach infrastructure while those with integrity will continue to stay with Amaechi,” the source said.
Speaking through his aide, the State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Victor Giadom, said that he was committed to the belief of Amaechi and had never thought of defecting to another political party.
Giadom, who is also the Director-General of the Dakuku Peterside Campaign Organisation, described the claim that some commissioners would defect to the PDP as mere propaganda, adding that no commissioner would leave the APC for another party.
The Chairman of the PDP in the state, Mr. Felix Obuah, predicted that Amaechi would be left with only five commissioners after a possible mass defection of his aides to the PDP.
“Amaechi has only five commissioners and more than two-thirds of the members of the state House of Assembly have joined PDP. They are already talking with me. Today, we are celebrating one of our own (Ikuru) and his teeming supporters who have seen reasons in what we are fighting for,” he said.