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Rivers PDP Grassroots Coordinators Dump Wike For Fubara

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The coordinators of the Grassroots Development Initiative, a political arm of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State formed by ex-governor Nyesom Wike, have announced their withdrawal from the initiative.

The GDI coordinators in 12 local government areas revealed the development on Monday when they paid a courtesy visit to Wike’s successor and estranged political godson, Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

The GDI coordinators were led by Collins Onunwo, who was the coordinator for the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

According to Onunwo, the GDI played a major role in Wike’s election as governor but the coordinators have now decided to dump the platform and team up with Fubara in the overall interest of the state.

There is currently an undercurrent of acrimony between Wike and Fubara.

Their relationship broke down last year as revealed by an attempt by 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to Wike to impeach Fubara.

Wike accused Fubara of destroying his political structure only a few months after taking the reins of power.

The coordinators who dumped the GDI were from Obio/Akpor, Ogu/Bolo, Port Harcourt City, Opobo/Nkoro, Gokana, Bonny, Ahoada West, Ahoada East, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Oyigbo, Asari-Toru, and Akuku-Toru local government areas.

Speaking to newsmen after their meeting with Fubara, Onunwo, a former Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, said the key mission of the GDI was to protect, defend and promote the interest of Rivers State and its people.

He stated, “We want the public, Rivers people and all Nigerians to know that GDI is the group founded by the former governor and now Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike. That group brought him to power in 2015 and supported his ambition in 2019. That group is his strength.

“But today, we and our supporters have decided we are no longer members of GDI. The reason is simple: we want to be with Rivers people. Rivers’ interest is paramount.

“In 2012, GDI interest was to protect, defend and promote our brother-in-law, President Goodluck Jonathan, because of our mother and sister, Dame Patience Jonathan; and it yielded good dividends to the state.

“Through that struggle, our brother, Chief Nyesom Wike, became governor in 2015; and in 2019, when Abuja politicians said he would not return for a second term, we all rallied round him and defended our votes, and he served for eight years.

“Today, Rivers interest is to protect our votes that brought in Sir Siminalayi Fubara, Executive Governor of Rivers State, in the most credible, fair and violence-free election.

“We have come to join millions of Rivers women, youths, elders, and other well-meaning people who insist that we must protect our votes to sustain democracy.

“Our concern is that we voted for the PDP and Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and we must protect that mandate with all we have.”

Onunwo cautioned those fighting against the Chief of Staff, Government House, Dr Edison Ehie, to retrace their steps, or prepare to face the wrath of Rivers youths, women, and elders.

Also speaking, former Public Relations Officer of GDI, Christian Abu, described the group as the vehicle and political structure for the successes recorded in the previous elections in the state.

He said it was time to move on and join forces with Fubara.

At the meeting were the State Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ambassador Chijioke Ihunwo; Special Adviser to the Governor on Power, Prince Solomon Eke; among others.


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