The member representing Tai/Eleme/Oyigbo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr. Barry Mpigi, Saturday dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmaker, who is one of the arrowheads of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (APC) is a close ally of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, despite the governor’s political affiliation.
Mpigi announced his defection to the PDP when he formally registered and obtain the party’s membership card at Ward 9, Koroma-Tai community in Tai local government area of Rivers State.
Reacting to the development, Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Senibo Chris Finebone, said the party is not surprised at the decision of Mpigi to join the PDP, saying the party was aware of the moves right from time.
Finebone said, “Nobody at all is surprised that Hon. Barry Mpigi has defected to the PDP. Members of the APC and everybody in Rivers Stare know that his soul has moved to the PDP very long ago. People were waiting for the day he will publicly actualise it.
“Right from when all his foot soldiers moved, including the member representing his constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, who is his boy, moved to the PDP, it was very obvious that as he instructed.
“We saw that as a strategy to either put pressure on those to join him to get more or see what will happen in APC so that he can bring them back. Having tried the R-APC and it is not flying at all, I think he felt this is the right thing to do and he has moved.
“Therefore, no one in APC or any keen watched of political developments in the state will be surprised at Hon. Barry Mpigi’s action.”
The APC spokesman insisted that the defection of the federal lawmaker to the PDP will not affect the fortunes of the ruling party in forthcoming election in Tai local government area and Ogoniland in general.
He said, “His defection to PDP will not affect the fortunes of APC in Tai and Ogoni in general because he started it early. Never mind that he is finalizing it today. He started it early and the APC started rebuilding in the areas he left long time ago.
“If we didn’t show the signs, we would have been caught unawares and it would have somehow significantly affected us. But since he showed the sign early enough, We thank him for showing the signs early enough, which has helped us to rebuild and we have been moving ahead in the areas he left.”