(By Iheanyi.Ezinwo & Silas Tamuno) – Although mixed reactions trailed the recent defection of Dr. Chidi Lloyd from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State, most political watchers were not sure of the immediate and remote reasons for the move.
In an exclusive interview with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt, the former leader of the Rivers State legislature gave three reasons why he abandoned the broom and ran to the umbrella for a shelter.
Dr.Chidi Llyod, who teaches law at the University of Nigeria, listed the factors that led to his exit to include the desire to reconcile with his estranged friends; false allegations from members of his former party and desire to attract development to his constituents.
His words: “I felt PDP is my family, it is the political party where I cut my political teeth; and everybody in this State understand that the APC is embroiled in an unending feud.
“What I am playing is politics, I didn’t sign up to a social club. We belong to a political party to acquire power, and for you to do that, the political party will have structure from the ward, to the local government, state and national levels, and we don’t have that in Rivers State APC.
” The party has been in crisis since 2015; from 2015, the seed of discord was sown and we have been managing, and it is not abating: instead for it to abate, it is taking very serious dimensions.
“So, I felt that I would not achieve for my people, in that kind of hostile and toxic atmosphere, so I left”, he stressed.
On his former principal and Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, the Akpabu born politician’s response was unambiguous.
“By the grace of God, nothing untoward will come out of my mouth about Rotimi Amaechi: it will be abusing myself, but ‘am sure he understands that I have come of age, and that I can take my decision.
“If there is any body who has stood with him, I think it is me. I nearly gave my life in defense of him; so, if I did this one thing that is wrong, they should also tolerate me.
Dr. Llyod, who was overjoyed for the opportunity to reconcile with his estranged friends and brothers, said that he was humbled to return to where he belonged, adding that the PDP in Rivers State seemed to be serious about governance.
“My major happiness is not even that I defected to PDP. My happiness is that Michael (Okechukwu Chinda) is alive and God provided a day like that for us to make up.
“The reason is because I have no business doing anything that will spill somebody’s blood. We have no right to take life that was not given by us.
“So, I made peace with them, and the peace cannot be total if I don’t belong to where they are.
I have realized myself and have made peace with my friends.
” For seven years, we are not talking! who bothered? For seven years I have been moving in and out of courts because of this problem, who cared?”, the former APC stalwart asked.
Dr. Chidi Llyod also blamed his decision to defect to the PDP on the hostile atmosphere in his former party, the APC.
“In fact, from the time Governor Nyesom Wike dropped charges against me and Ojukaye (Amachree), that was when people in our former political party started peddling rumours of our talking with Wike.
“Until I defected to PDP, I was not in talking terms with any of them, including (Governor) Wike. Until 24th of August, 2020, I have never been to Government House, whether at night or in the afternoon.
” I challenge anybody who says Chidi Lloyd have done jobs for Governor Wike.
This was how they carried the story that got me out of the party.
“The APC talked me out of the party, and that is what we are good at doing.
I was in school in Scotland when Governor Wike awarded the road linking Omudioga and Egbeda: by then, I have not even defected.
“I don’t have a single contract am doing for Rivers State government. My own is, let there be road; let there be electricity.
“As I speak to you, the ministry of power are doing the electrical work and the stool of our paramount ruler has been upgraded to second class from third class.
” I will not stop thanking Governor Wike for his magnanimity: somebody of my caliber in the opposition is enough to discourage him from doing anything in my community, but the man comes out and says, let by gone be by gone!
“If a man shows you love, you reciprocate. What I saw is genuine friendship, and I reciprocated.
“It may have led to why I defected: if it was all rosy where I was, I wouldn’t have left. I am in politics for my people, not for myself.
” When the light eventually comes up in my community, it will grow micro economy; people will buy and sell and it will reduce crime”, Dr. Lloyd stressed, adding that the new road would facilitate movement of people and farm produce, thereby improving the quality of life of his people.