Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said that he joined the All Progressive Congress in order to protect the people of his state.
Amaechi said Rivers had suffered neglect under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He also said that he made up his mind to leave the Peoples Democratic Party for the APC because the issues raised by G-7 governors were not resolved by Jonathan and the PDP.
The governor, who spoke with newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport on Tuesday, described the decision to join the opposition party as good for the country’s democracy.
He explained that the PDP was giving the impression that they (G-7 governors) were begging to come back to the ruling party, maintaining that issues that led to
the crisis in the PDP were not resolved.
“Yes, we have joined APC after the meeting we had with Buhari, Tinubu and the interim Chairman of APC. The governors met on Monday and decided that we must meet with the APC leadership.
“When we met with the APC leadership, it was important we took a position and the position we took is for the good of our democracy and to ensure that Nigeria moves forward.
“Rivers State must know that for me to have taken that decision, I had looked at the general interests of Rivers people. I was not elected to lead Nigeria; I was elected to lead Rivers State and I had looked at the interests of Rivers people and have seen that these interests were not protected in PDP.
“I have seen the fact that we are losing our oil wells in Etche, in the Kalabari areas and that the more they continue to pilfer these oil wells, the more we will continue to lose our wealth.”
He, however, pointed out that despite his defection to the APC, he still held the President in high esteem and had no personal quarrel with him.
He said, “The President and I have no personal quarrel. It is important we put that in perspective. All the issues were issues that affect Rivers people, they were issues that affect Nigerians and I am a Nigerian, I have to address those issues.
“He is my President and I respect him. I respect his office, respect him as a person and respect the fact that he is older, but then as an elected governor of Rivers State, I have the responsibility to lead Rivers State.”
Meanwhile, the PDP in Rivers State has called on its members not to join Amaechi in the APC.
Chairman of Rivers PDP, Mr. Felix Obuah, urged members of the party not to be swayed by Amaechi’s promise of SURE-P empowerment scheme to join him (Amaechi) in APC.
Obuah, who threatened to sanction any of state PDP members found to be involved in anti-party activities, cautioned that the party would not hesitate to wield the big stick against members working against its success in the state.
The state PDP chairman spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Wednesday during a party’s rally in response to Amaechi’s defection to the APC.