Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday denied claims of face-off between the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the Senator, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe.
In a press release signed by the state chairman of the party, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, and made available to newsmen, the party described reports of the alleged disagreement as “fake, inaccurate and misleading.”
The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to all the hullabaloo, fake news and mostly distorted, inaccurate and misleading reports in the media, especially in the social media about a non-existent crisis due to some purported changes in the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State. This is not true, entirely false and misleading. For clarity, we wish to state categorically that: All members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership in Rivers State are intact. From our ward officers to State party executives, no one has been removed or suspended from office.
“We are aware that our leader, the leader of the party in the state, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is making some changes in his personal political group, team or caucus in the state. It is his right and prerogative to make any leadership changes within his own political team, group or caucus. Amaechi created the caucus, team or group, appointed its members and leaders and so can make any changes he deems fit with this is personal group, team or caucus. But we must emphasise that these changes by the Honourable Minister of Transportation within his personal political team, group or caucus has absolutely nothing to do with the party leadership structure and does not affect the party leadership structures at all levels in the State.”
He also said “contrary to fake wild speculations and deliberately misleading insinuations, no member of the party in the State is being stopped or prevented from having ambition or wanting to seek for any elective office. And we must reinstate here that no APC member will be stopped or prevented from seeking any elective office.”
The party however reminded and appealed to all APC party members in Rivers State that “we are just half way into 2017, and campaigns for the various 2019 elections are yet to commence.”
Reacting to the development, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has warned against allowing the disagreement between Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and the Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe, over 2019 governorship ambition to degenerate, saying it may destroy the party in the state.
Reacting to the widely reported sack of some loyalists of Senator Abe by the APC leadership in the state over the Abe’s 2019 governorship ambition, Frank called on the national leadership of the party to urgently resolve the impasse and not allow a repeat of the Kogi experience.
He said: “Our leaders need to be proactive in resolving some of these crises. What is happening in Kogi, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Kano and many other states today is as a result of lack of capacity by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) under Chief John Oyegun, which I have always warned about.
“That of Kogi State has started claiming lives of people we will need their votes tomorrow. Therefore, Rivers State should not join the league of crisis bedeviled APC state chapters when we urgently call the political gladiators involve to order.”
He urged Ameachi, who is the leader of APC in Rivers State, to allow internal democracy to thrive and follow due process if any of the caucus members is to be removed as alleged, saying, “the era of imposition is far gone.
“I believe that it is only God that can give power and not man, despite the power tussles. The imposition that has destroyed other parties should not be allowed in APC, not only in Rivers but across the country, the popular candidate must be allowed to fly our flag if we are truly practicing democracy,” he said.