Legal Nigeria

Mass defection of PDP lawmakers to APC in Rivers

Majority of the lawmakers in the Rivers House of Assembly switched political allegiance this morning, dumping the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress.

Twenty seven members announced their defection, introducing a new dimension to the political crisis between Governor Similanayi Fubara and his godfather, Nyesom Wike, who is the minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

The announcement of their defection took place on the floor of the House during Monday’s sitting.

There are 32 members of the House of Assembly.

This implies that Wike’s group and the House rebels now have more than two-thirds majority to remove the governor.

The crisis between Governor Fubara and Nyesom Wike, his predecessor blew open in October, amid the burning of a section of the Rivers House of Assembly and reported moves to impeach the governor by lawmakers loyal to Wike.

There was also an allegation that Wike and his godson fell out following his incessant demand for billions of Naira

Despite the intervention of President Bola Tinubu and the PDP Governors Forum, led by Governor Bala Mohammed, the crisis appears to have festered.

Both on TV and at peace meetings, Wike appeared pained by what he described as a betrayal by Fubara, who he virtually installed as his successor last May.

At one of the peace meetings, Wike revealed the real issues at stake and vowed not to succumb to intimidation from anybody.

“Nobody can intimidate me. If I want to do something, I will do it. Impeachment is not a military coup; it is provided for under the Constitution. I’m not interested in all the rumours, money, this, and that. Rubbish! Absolute rubbish! I just left the office, how many months ago? And I’m FCT Minister, so which money?

“But nobody can take away our political structure. No one! You cannot work and people will begin to bring enemies…those who fought you when you were struggling for the person to be in office. Nobody does that. I’m not a political ingrate, but don’t touch the political structure of the state. I will not shut my eyes,” Wike said.

Weeks later, Wike ‘s allies took over the APC executive offices in the state as caretakers, following the dissolution of the party structure.

And today, the APC took over the control of the Assembly.