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We’re Ready For Legal Battle With PDP, Says Amaechi

The five  Peoples Democratic Party who defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress  are  ready to meet the ruling party in court, the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said.

Amaechi made this known in Port Harcourt on Wednesday just as the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, boasted that Amaechi and his colleagues would willingly return to the party soon.

The PDP had  last month asked an Abuja Federal High Court to sack the five governors. It    also prayed the court to   order the houses of assembly of Adamawa, Rivers, Sokoto, Kano and Kwara states to commence impeachment proceedings against the governors.

The Rivers State governor ,who  featured in   a radio (95.1 FM, Port Harcourt) phone-in programme  in Port Harcourt, said they had hired reputable    lawyers to  battle with the PDP .

He    recalled that many governors had in the  past left   other political parties and joined   the  PDP without being sacked by the courts.

Amaechi said, “Courts don’t impeach. But we are waiting. The courts’ position (in the past) is  very clear. Zamfara governor moved to the PDP and the court held that he had a right to move if there was a disagreement in  his party.

“The Bauchi State governor moved from ANPP(defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party)  to the PDP and another  court held that he had the right to move. Abia State  governor (Theodore Orji)  moved from Progressives Peoples Alliance  to the PDP and  Kebbi State  governor also  moved from the ANPP to the PDP. They are so many and the PDP was so happy absorbing them.

“Now that five of us have gone   and the chances of more governors moving to the APC appear to be there, the PDP is panicking. We are ready to meet them in court; we have hired lawyers and our lawyers can battle  with  them.”

But before Ameachi spoke,   Tukur told a team of Nigerian professionals   in Europe on Wednesday in London , that  measures being put in place by  the PDP leadership   and  President Goodluck Jonathan,  would encourage  those who defected from the ruling party to return on their own.

Although Tukur   did not mention the names of the defectors, he  apparently  had in mind,  the  five former- Amaechi, Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara);  Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto);   Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); and Musa Kwankwaso (Kano).

Apart from the five  governors, 37 members of the House of Representatives have also left the PDP  for the APC. Some  senators are said to be planning to defect soon.

In spite of this,  Tukur  said  the PDP  had been    welcoming more members into its fold compared to the number of those who had defected.

He  claimed  that going by the undercurrents within the political circles, the ruling  party would  experience an  influx of new members this year.

According to him, many members of   opposition   parties, including the  APC, have  already signified their readiness to join the PDP.

A statement from  his office explained that the professionals had sought audience with the PDP chairman on their interest to return to Nigeria with a view to offering their expertise in diverse fields for the growth of the country.

He told  the  professionals who are mostly   medical doctors, information technology  experts  and engineers, that the PDP had always been in pursuit of reforms to make it stronger as Nigeria’s ruling party.

Tukur said what was happening in the PDP  was  rejuvenation, which  many  viewed  as a crisis.

He said, “The PDP remains a party with the largest spread and tested strength to win elections any day, any time. I urge  all our members   in Nigeria not to be browbeaten by images of political delusion that confront them every day from different quarters.

“The PDP is at home to contain all forms of harassment by the opposition, either vaunted or intended. If it is a game of number in any election, you can always count that the PDP would have it greater.

“The good thing is that if  five  people move out of  the PDP into the other party, even by a dint of propaganda, the party takes in more than 500 at a time, as replacement. The electorate in Nigeria trust the PDP more than many people are aware of.”

Although  Tukur  admitted that the PDP  was not  having  things  smoothly   at the moment, he  said   his     team and the President were not relenting  on  their   consultations with  aggrieved members of the party.

“The  PDP would, at the end of it all,  be   better and more prepared to do greater exploits. Our members should, therefore, enjoy the   Yuletide and not allow any issue to keep them distracted and depressed,”  he said.

The PDP  has  however charged all its members, political office holders and all Nigerians to “usher in the New Year by committing themselves to the lofty values of integrity, hard work, honesty, love and faithfulness so as to move the nation to the next level.”

In  a New Year message to Nigerians  by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh,  on Wednesday, the party  said, “While the nation faced serious challenges last year, the New Year presents a new opportunity for Nigerians to eschew all divisions and work together to fully entrench these values in the nation’s body polity.”

Noting  that this would result in the much desired national rebirth , it   charged Nigerians to stand on the side of peace and unity and resist  the “evil machinations of desperate undemocratic breeds who delight in sowing seeds of discord among them.”

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