Three SDP Assembly Candidates, Supporters Defect to APC in Rivers

Three candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the Rivers State House of Assembly seats in the 2023 general election have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with their supporters.

This as Mr. Lawrence Chuku, a former Caretaker Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council and a close ally of former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has pledged his support to the present leadership of the APC Caretaker Committee in the state.

The defected candidates are Mgbo-Awaji Augustus, who contested on the platform of SDP to represent Andoni in the Assembly; Chikweru Orlu, the candidate of SDP for Obio/Akpor constituency II, and Bright Amadi, who contested for Obio/Akpor constituency I on the SDP platform.

Speaking during the defection event at the new state party secretariat on Aba Road, Port Harcourt, the former candidate of SDP for Andoni constituency in the state House of Assembly, Augustus, said he defected to the party alongside seven ward chairmen from his LGA.

Augustus, who is a former secretary of Andoni LGA, said he returned to the APC to support the Tony Okocha-led leadership of the party to achieve success in subsequent elections in the state, adding that he is one of the founding members of the party in the state before he left to pursue his goal in SDP.

According to him, “I decide to come back to APC because this is my party; I am one of the founding member of the party in the state and have also benefited from the party. This is the party I rode upon to become the council secretary of my local government area.

“For a very long time, APC has not won elections in Rivers State and now that we are back with our strength to support the caretaker committee chairman, we are quite confidence that APC will begin to win elections in the state. I am coming here with hundreds of persons; seven ward chairmen in Andoni and all my supporters across the wards.”

On his part, Chikweru Orlu, the candidate of SDP in the just concluded elections for Obio/Akpor constituency II, said he returned to APC to support in rebuilding a robust party that will begin to win election in the state.

He said: “I am sure of coming with 10 wards chairmen of the SDP to join the APC where I belong. I have been in the party as one of the founding members of APC in Rivers State. I am back to my family and to see how we can move the state APC forward.

“Overtime, APC has just been in Rivers State like a social party, but I am sure with the new CTC chairman and his team, some of us who have come to join them will make a better APC in the state so that we can win election and not only burial and social clubs.

“I am here to support the leadership of the party and see how we can rebuild a robust APC in Rivers State. The CTC chairman has also promised to lead an all-inclusive leadership and I am in.”

Meanwhile, Lawrence Chuku, an ally to former Governor of the state, Amaechi, has pledged support for the leadership of the current caretaker committee of the APC in the state.

Chuku, who alongside his supporters and other leaders of the party in Obio/Akpor were at the APC secretariat yesterday, said they are also committed to APC under the national leadership of the party and President Bola Tinubu.

He called on all aggrieved members of the party to come together and rebuild the party structure for victory in all coming elections in the state.

To all APC members, he said: “Today, Okocha and his team have been appointed by the national leadership to bring the party members together. Forget about the offence. There can’t be two APC in Rivers State, only one structure that is recognised by the national leadership in Rivers State. There is no human being that is perfect, the party chairman cannot be expected to be perfect, so all we need is to build our party.”

Responding to the defectors and party members who returned from other factions, Okocha noted the benefits of unity in the party, urging all aggrieved members of APC in Rivers State to come back and join the party to rebuild its structure as soon as possible.

Assuring that his leadership will deliver APC in the state, Okocha said at the expiration of the current local government council, the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, must conduct election, stressing that there will be no room for caretaker committee for the local councils.

Okocha added: “We received former state Assembly candidates of SDP and their supporters. No division, my doors are open always.”

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