There is a renewed hostility and acrimony in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the two warring factions have both visited the party’s national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, with different claims.

A faction of the party loyal to the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, has claimed that a former governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi had struck a deal with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 poll, Atiku Abubakar, prior to the election and directed APC members during a meeting to campaign and vote for the former vice president.

Leader of the APC faction, Tony Okocha, made the claim on Thursday when he led top party leaders including key members of the state working committee and other leaders of the party across all the local government areas in Rivers State on a courtesy visit to the APC national chairman, Dr Ganduje in Abuja.

Recall that Amaechi came second at the APC presidential primary which produced Tinubu as candidate. Also, his camp recently met with the APC national chairman, Ganduje, in Abuja, where members ventilated their grievances over their non-inclusion in the scheme of things, especially, appointments into key positions by the Tinubu-led administration.

Senate seeks special security operations in North West

Addressing Ganduje and other APC bigwigs on the essence of the visit at the party’s headquarters, Okocha said Amaechi had announced his support for Atiku during a stakeholders’ meeting prior to the election and insisted that party members in the state must not be allowed to vote for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was APC’s candidate in the election.

He also appealed to the Ganduje-led National Working Committee (NWC) that whatever appointment or benefit the party wishes to allot to Rivers APC should pass through Nyesom Wike, a former governor of Rivers State who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but now minister of the FCT.

He said, “In Rivers State, the leader of the slant which Cole and Dakuku, et al, belonged, had helmed up alliances with the PDP presidential candidate, HE, Atiku Abubakar, that Atiku and not Tinubu should be voted for in the presidential election.

“This wicked resolve against the APC in Rivers was openly announced in a meeting at the instance of the leader at his private residence in Port Harcourt, thickly attended by Mr. Cole, Dakuku, Chukwudi Dimkpa, et al, members of the innermost caucus.

“It was handed down that Tinubu must fail in Rivers State. They were thus, mandated to transport to their supporters in the 6868 polling units, 319 wards, and 23 local government areas in Rivers State.

“Was this obnoxious decision opposed by any of them either in words or actions?

Will they deny ever attending such a meeting and receiving such dastardly instruction? We have pictorial, visual, and individual testimonies to this.

“How did they contribute to the party’s presidential victory in Rivers State and were unable to deliver their members who contested National Assembly elections on the same day?”

“It is crucial to note that in all of that event that gulped several million, Neither Amaechi, Cole, Dakuku, et al now leading a delegation to the National Secretariat of our party, to belie the issues and make veritable their demand for compensation, contributed a split penny, neither did they contribute up to 10 genuine party members in the mammoth crowd that greeted that rally, for which the candidate, Asiwaju eulogised.”

He asked the Ganduje-led NWC not to recognise any other APC camp in Rivers, claiming they ceased to be members of the party a long time ago.

In his remarks, the factional state chairman, Emeka Bekee said, “As our leader has just said, before the elections, there was a directive and that directive was ‘go and vote Atiku.’ But we said no, we are party loyalists and we will vote for our party’s candidate, Asiwaju.”

It’s a lie from pit of hell – Amaechi

But reacting, Amaechi described Okocha’s claim as lie from the pit of hell.

Amaechi who spoke through his media aide, Chukwuemeka Eze said, “That statement is not only a lie from the pit of hell but one of those ploys to continue to witch hunt and present Amaechi in bad light before the APC leadership in order for him and his associates to continue to eat the crumbs from the table of Tinubu.

“During the 2023 general elections, Tony Okocha had ceased to be a member of APC as he, Magnus Abe, and others had refused to revalidate their APC membership cards. So if that is the case, Amaechi couldn’t have directed a non-member of APC to vote against the party.

“I will counsel Nigerians, particularly, you Journalists to disregard any statement about Rivers State APC from Tony Okocha and his likes. Amaechi is not only a respected member of APC but a great leader of the party in the South-South region until such a time it becomes imperative for him to change party.

“And let me reiterate that Wike, Okocha or any member of their misguided cohorts can not and will not be in a position to remove Amaechi from APC both as the leader of the party in the region and key member of APC no matter all their evil plots.”

Stop overheating system – Ganduje

Responding, Ganduje warned the two factions in the state to stop overhearing the system and allow the National Working Committee (NWC) to resolve the issues.

He said, “There is no doubt River State is a very important state in Nigeria; an oil-producing state with a reasonable population which is an asset for election and asset to any political party.

“Our party in Rivers State is highly fictionalised, that is a fact. Our party in Rivers State was killed by litigations, that one too is a fact. One important question to ask is ‘How come we won the presidential election and lost the state election?’ It is a miracle.

“So we have to congratulate you on that. But what we are saying, yes, there is confusion in the party, but we don’t want members to overheat the system; we are focused, we are organised, and we work scientifically in politics.

“Therefore, you give us an enabling environment; give us a chance so that we can put a round peg in a round hole, a square peg in a square hole so that we maintain our dignity as a party.

“We don’t want too much analysis because they say too much analysis leads to paralysis. So give us a chance so that we can consult, so that we look at the constitution of APC and then we wait and see how we can put things in order.”



StatePress is an online newspaper with wide and extensive coverage of socio political events in the Nigerian States, African Continent and beyond.  We break the news, focus on issues without bias and maintain highest level of professionalism in discharging our social responsibility.

Post A Comment: