Rumours all through the weekend that Akpo Bomba Yeeh, running mate to Awara Biokpomabo, the African Action Congress (AAC) governorship candidate that Minister of Transportation and Aviation, Chibuike Amaechi, adopted to fight Gov Nyesom Wike in the March 9, 2019 election, was negotiating to dump his party and join the ruling party has proved true.
By noon Monday, a statement signed by Yeeh said he had decamped to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and that Wike truly won polls. He threw further bombshell, saying that he and the AAC flag-bearer signed what he called a slavish deal allegedly dictated at gunpoint by Amaechi.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday, Yeeh, an Ogoni chief, said he dumped AAC to join forces with the governor.
“After due consultations with my immediate family, friends and supporters, I, Chief Akpo Bomba Yeeh, the Deputy Governorship (candidate) of the AAC for the 2019 Governorship election hereby resign my membership of the AAC and announce my defection to the PDP to join hands with Governor Wike to move the state forward. ”
“The March 9 , Governorship election in Rivers State has been lost and won; lost by my party, AAC and its candidate, Biokpomabo Awara, and undoubtedly and overwhelmingly won by the Gov Wike of the PDP.” He said that despite the interference of the security agencies, Rivers people stood their ground and voted for Wike.
“The collated results further showed that contrary to the false claim of fictitious lead by my party, the AAC/APC alliance, the PDP overwhelmingly won all the elections in 18 out of the 19 LGAs, culminating in the declaration and return of the party’s 26 House of Assembly Constituencies by the Constituency Returning Officers.
He said this fact was confirmed March 13, when INEC said that collated results for 17 Local Government Areas as well as the declaration of the PDP Candidates for 21 State Constituencies.
He recounted several actions which Amaechi and the military allegedly committed to make him and his candidate winners. He added that Amaechi forced them to sign away 90 per cent of all appointments and that he would have to resign after victory for APC’s deputy to join the ticket.
Yeeh has already been hosted in Government House by Gov Wike, few hours after he decamped. Wike said no one man’s interest is bigger than Rivers State, declaring that all leaders must work together to move Rivers State forward.
“History will be on your side. You have shown that the interest of the state is above personal consideration. God will not only protect you, He will reward you for this decision,’’ the governor said to Yeeh.
He reminded the people that Rivers State is the only state have. “Everyone must work together to move this state forward. It is important to take this state to greater heights. It is not everyone that can take this kind of decision. It requires maturity to take this kind of decision. ”
The Amaechi camp has remained silent since the devastating development. No word has been heard from the AAC flag-bearer, Biokpomabo, either. Some APC enthusiasts who are not authorised to speak to the press have however contended Yeeh must note that in the eyes of the Electoral Act, he is still on the AAC ticket because the time to decamp or withdraw has elapsed.
This is the second running mate to resign and decamp to Wike’s PDP, and also from Ogoni area. The running mate to SDP’s Precious Elekima had decamped in the last minute, with governor Wike noting that his action had voided the ticket.