The Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the last Rivers State elections, Mrs. Beatrice Itubo, has paid a visit to the embattled Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
This comes amidst escalating political tensions within the state, marked by recent defections and accusations.
Just days before Itubo’s visit, the deputy governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the weekend decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) along with several supporters. This was followed by the mass defection of 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmakers attributed their decision to dissatisfaction with the ongoing internal division within the PDP, particularly the dispute surrounding the position of the National Secretary. They argued that this has created confusion and hampered communication within the party.
However, analysts suggest that the recent defections are linked to the ongoing power struggle between Governor Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This interpretation is further supported by Governor Fubara’s recent statement where he vowed not to “surrender our mandate and progress to intimidation, blackmail and deliberate sabotage.” Meanwhile, Wike has said he is committed to protecting his political influence in the state, stating, “Fubara is importing the crisis through his actions… I can’t stand it. What is happening now (in Rivers) is what Odili said in his book: ‘Give a man power and money, then you will know the person.’ If you haven’t given man power and money then you don’t know the person.”