…As Crack Permeates APC’s Wall In State
By ‘Dotun Akintomide
The raging crisis between the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator representing Rivers South-East, Magnus Abe, deepens over the weekend as Amaechi vowed not to support the governorship ambition of the latter.
Amaechi, a former Governor of Rivers State lashed out at Abe, saying strongly that “Abe is daring me, an Ikwerre son. He is abusing me every day. I will ensure I use Ikwerre vote against him.”
During a meeting in Port-Harcourt, with Ikwerre APC Chiefs and Elders’ Forum, Amaechi noted that out of 2.5 million voting strength in the state, his ethnic nationality, Ikwerre alone, produces 1.1 million.
The minister said Abe had every right as a member of his party to contest in the election, adding that constitution of the party would be adhered to in the process.
His words: “There is no fight in the APC. I am not in any way stopping Abe from running for the governorship, but what I know is that I will not support him. Abe is daring me, an Ikwerre son. He is abusing me every day. I will ensure I use Ikwerre vote against him.”
Amaechi maintained that the governance of the state must be rotated among the different ethnic nationalities that make up the state, adding that it will be greed if Ikwerre retains power for more than 12 years.
He disclosed that he would support any riverine candidate in the 2019 elections, adding that when riveriners finish their eight-year tenure, power would be given to the Ogonis.
“When we finish with riverine, if Ogoni shows interest, we will support them. I am not saying that Ogoni people do not have qualified persons. In every field of study, you must see a graduate from Ogoni even to the point of Ph.D.
“At the moment, we have not chosen a candidate; only God will decide who will become the next governor.”
Amaechi, also reiterated that there were no two factions in the APC in Rivers, adding that the party had remained a united and viable opposition to the leading People’s Democratic Party in the state.
Albeit, to the contrary, developments on Saturday indicated that the crack within the APC in Rivers is widening as Amaechi led some chieftains to the inauguration of a pro-APC non-governmental organisation, Free Rivers Development Initiative in Bori, Khana local government area while Senator Abe hosted other leaders of the party to a Thanksgiving rally in Port Harcourt.
The two parallel events organized by party leaders further exposed the animosity between Amaechi and Abe’s factions.
The New Diplomat learnt that some leaders of the APC in the South-South and Rivers state including Senator Andrew Uchendu, Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, Sekonte Davies and others graced Amaechi’s event.
On the other hand, Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, SSA to President Mohammadu Buhari on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, Chairman of the APC in Rivers state, Chief Davies Ibiamu-Ikanya among others, graced Senator Abe’s Thanksgiving Service.
However, while speaking at the rally Senator Bukola Saraki stressed the need for the party to stay united in state.
Saraki said: “It is obvious the APC is in crisis in Rivers state. What is bad is bad and we must put this to an end.”