The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressive Congress (APC), which is currently ruling the state, a source from the Government house who pleaded anonymity revealed.
Mr. Ikuru, who was deputy governor to Celestine Omehia in 2007 before he was retained by Governor Rotimi Amaechi when was sworn in as governor six months later, announced his defection in Port Harcourt yesterday.
His defection to the PDP will come as a huge shock to Governor Amaechi and the entire APC family as he is known to be a strong ally of the governor, and until his defection yesterday was seen in every campaign rally of the APC in Port Harcourt, standing besides the governor.
“I can tell you that the deputy governor has defected to the PDP. He has already informed the governor about it and may soon address a press conference,” the source said.
Welcoming the development, the Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus stressed that with the exit of Mr. Ikuru from the APC only goes on to show that the people of Rivers State have lost confidence in Governor Amaechi and all he represents, therefore paving the way for the PDP to record a landslide victory in the state and in the nation at large. He also called on other governors and their deputies on the platform of the APC, to emulate the deputy governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, by joining the winning team as days countdown to the election.
In a statement, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO), said the PDP was happy to receive Ikuru back into its family.
“We are glad to hear about the return of the deputy governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family. This was a deeply courageous step and we welcome him with open arms. We encourage other key leaders of the APC to abandon the ranks of the doomed and to join the PDP. We urge them to see the light and retrace their steps in the same way that the deputy governor of Rivers State has done. We agree with the deputy governor that the APC are a party of rebels and anarchists and they are a party of deceit.
“May God forgive the APC for that stench and for trying to deceive and destroy Nigeria. Others should emulate the deputy governor and take the path of honor by leaving the APC before it is too late.”
Meanwhile, APC has reacted to the news of the defection of Mr. Tele Ikuru, the deputy Governor of Rivers State, from the APC to the PDP and has described it as “good riddance to bad rubbish.”
In a statement yesterday, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the Rivers State APC Chairman, said that Mr. Ikuru is a PDP mole and that his defection of did not come to the APC as a surprise.
“Contrary to the thinking in some quarters, the defection of Engr. Tele Ikuru did not come to us as a surprise. Rather than being shocked, we feel relieved that he is no more part of us because Ikuru was a PDP mole in our midst all these while. Unknown to most people, Ikuru initially refused to leave PDP for APC with Governor Rotimi Amaechi in November 2013. However, after series of meetings with his uncle and political mentor, Chief Uche Secondus, the National Vice Chairman of PDP, and some other PDP bigwigs, he was prevailed upon to follow his principal into APC.
“Engr Ikuru was asked to stay behind to monitor the activities of APC and most importantly to act as a mole for his uncle and plot the fall of APC in the State – a mission which he failed to accomplish because APC is not just a party in Rivers State but indeed a revolutionary movement fully embraced and jealously guarded by the people of the State.”
It should be recalled that only last week, 120 Atiku support groups dumped the APC for the PDP, a move which former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has publicly disassociated himself with while disowning the groups.