A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, on Tuesday sent the embattled governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, an invitation to join its yet to be registered party.
The invite was contained in a statement signed by Bashir Tofa, the former chairman of the All Nigerian Peoples’ Party, ANPP, one of the parties merging into the APC.
Mr. Amaechi was recently suspended from his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in what appears to be a lingering battle with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The party suspended him three days after he won a controversial Nigeria Governors Forum election.
The APC also warned other state governors like Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano to waste no time in joining APC as the PDP, “so called biggest party in Africa (is) heading to be coming the smallest party in Nigeria”.
“We hereby extend our hand of friendship and invite them to save their political future and move into the APC before the merger is concluded, so they can be regarded as part and parcel of the new Party, and not as new comers into it,” he said.
Mr. Amaechi has said that he would not leave and would not be forced out of the PDP.
Mr. Tofa, the loser in the 1993 presidential elections, considered the freest and fairest in Nigeria, said he had been informed that some legislators and at least three former PDP governors are seriously contemplating on leaving the PDP, but fear that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, might be sent to witch-hunt them.
“They and a few Governors that I know are contemplating this move, should be brave enough to act now in the best interest of this country and our young democracy, which some people are bent on crippling,” Mr. Tofa said in the statement.
The former ANPP boss said the EFCC is no longer disposed to being used unjustifiably as their officials know that their personal and collective integrity has a lot of bearing on good governance in Nigeria. Hence, intending defectors should have no doubts about joining the APC.
Mr. Tofa said Mr. Amaechi will not be the last of other principled leaders of PDP to be suspended, dismissed and then arrested immediately they leave office.
He advised Nigerians to abandon the PDP to join the APC or any of the other political parties, saying “they (the other parties) may not be bigger but, at least, their (peoples’) conscience will be clear.”