The drama in the Rivers State governorship election took a different twist on Monday when the deputy governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Gakpo Bomba Yeeh dumped his party for the ruling party in the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Announcing his withdrawal from the yet-to-be concluded governorship election, Yeeh said he decided to dump the AAC to join hands with Governor Nyesom Wike to move Rivers State forward.
As it stands today, the incumbent governor and governorship candidate of the PDP, Wike is contesting for the state top job with the AAC candidate, Biokpomabo Awarato.
Yeeh while addressing reporters in his Port Harcourt home on Monday said, said: “After due consultations with my immediate family, friends and supporters, I, Chief Akpo Bomba Yeeh, the governorship running mate 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, African Action Congress (AAC) and its candidate, Biokpomabo Awara and undoubtedly and overwhelmingly won by the Governor of Rivers State, the candidate of the PDP, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.”
He noted that despite interference by security agencies, the Rivers people stood their ground and voted for the incumbent.
Yeeh said: “The collated results further showed that contrary to the claim of fictitious lead by 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.
“This fact was confirmed on the 13th of March, 2019, when INEC stated, as a matter of fact, that it had in its safe custody collated results for 17 local government areas as well as the declaration of the PDP candidates for 21 state constituencies.
“The outcome of the elections on March 9, 2019, clearly showed the preference of the people. Even the blind can see and the deaf can hear the echo that Rivers people overwhelmingly voted to stick with Governor Wike for the next four years to encourage him to continue with the good works.”
The former AAC governorship running mate told reporters that he had been forced to sign an undated letter of resignation to be effective after their expected inauguration.
He alleged: “I was forced to sign an undated letter of resignation as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State to pave the way for Rotimi Amaechi to nominate another person as deputy governor.
“These were slavish conditions for any rational politician worth his name to accept, but I pretended to play along because doing otherwise at that time would have been too dangerous for the safety of my life, given Amaechi’s desperation to remove Wike from office and install his stooge in the person of Engr Awara against all odds.”
According to him, the Transportation minister, who adopted the AAC, promised to fund the party.
He stated that the adoption and promise to deliver AAC was with conditions that conferred de facto governance on the minister.
Yeeh, who outlined the conditions, said: “First, he (Amaechi) must be the one to appoint 90 per cent of all political office holders, including commissioners, special advisers, and chairmen and members of government agencies and parastatals.
“Second, he must be the one to nominate and produce all the 23 local government area’s chairmen and other principal officers of the councils.
“We, that is, Awara and my humble self, must consult and take instructions from him on all financial, policy and fiscal matters, as well as award and payment of all contracts and other financial transactions upon inauguration as governor and deputy governor of the state.
“As a practicing Christian, I have come to the conclusion that the actions and desperate attempts by the AAC/APC alliance to rig the governorship and State Assembly elections in Rivers State are both morally and legally wrong, reprehensible and inimical to the collective interest of the people of Rivers State.
“The Almighty God will not forgive me if I continue to lend my support to Rotimi Amaechi’s perfidy against the democratic rights of the people of Rivers State to freely elect their own leaders.”
Yeeh stated that he has informed Awara in writing of his withdrawal and resignation from the race and the AAC.