Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says he ditched the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2015 election bid because he is not tribalistic.
Amaechi made the statement on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, while receiving some politicians who defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
As governor of Rivers state, Amaechi left the PDP for the APC in November 2013 and became the director-general of Buhari’s presidential campaign.
According to him, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan made him many offers to remain in the PDP but he turned them down and gave his “allegiance to Buhari because I am not tribalistic”.
The relationship between both men turned sour following Amaechi’s defection.
He said he will resume prayer sessions in 2021 over his concerns for the state, adding that he triumphed and Jonathan lost in 2015 because God was with him (Amaechi).
“Next year, we are starting prayer session. You know, when Goodluck fought us, he was not fighting me, he was fighting God, and I knew he would fail,” Amaechi said.
“Tell them, from next year, prayer will start. I will come to Port Harcourt like I used to come, and I will say this will happen, and it will happen
“Let me tell you who I am. I do not drink, I have never tasted alcohol in my life. I don’t smoke; I am not tribalistic. Whether in Rivers State or in Nigeria, I am not tribalistic.
‘If I were tribalistic, President Goodluck Jonathan offered me an opportunity to remain in the PDP, he offered me all sorts of opportunities and I said that I have given my allegiance to Buhari because I am not tribalistic.”
Those who dumped the PDP include Alabo Michael West, John Bazia, Chima Obinna and Salvation Ezengwogwo.
Michael West, who led the defectors, is a former PDP governorship aspirant, two-time member of the Rivers state house of assembly, and a commissioner when Amaechi was governor.
Amaechi told the defectors that about 90 percent of politicians in the state grew through him while commending them for their decision to join the APC.
“Let me welcome my friends. Like they told you, they shared power with me in the Assembly. And I tell people that there are not up to 10 per cent of politicians in Rivers State who didn’t pass through me. Mention names, I know their character,” he said.