A fresh chapter of crisis appears to be opening for members of the APC in Rivers State. For the umpteenth time, some leaders of the party are at each other’s jugular as they try to dominate the party.
At one end is Senator Magnus Abe who has been battling the transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi. Abe and Amaechi have always been in disagreement especially on certain decisions affecting members of the party.
It was same disagreement that made the party to lose out during the 2019 general elections. The party failed to participate in any of the elections. Signals of such a face-off are appearing again, less than two years to the next general elections.
Last weekend, Abe released a statement and appealed to members of the APC to denounce violence and resists the temptation of being provoked to attack anyone. But his statement has attracted the ire of some of Amaechi’s core supporters.
Abe, in the statement he personally signed titled: “Rivers APC, no place for violence: its time to move forward” insisted that a political disagreement does not amount to a land dispute neither a communal riot in which there is no meeting point. Therefore, he called on all members of the party in Rivers State to give peace a chance.
The Senator said: “I received with shock and sadness the news of the unwarranted and senseless attack on law-abiding citizens and members of the All Progressives Congress in Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State.
“Party members who had gathered peacefully in response to the directive of the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party to members and intending members in Rivers, Cross River, Kano, Imo and Kwara States who were unable to take part in the last registration and revalidation exercise could now do so, members met to sensitize themselves and prepare for the exercise, only to be brutally attacked by other members of the APC loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“Anyone who has been following Rivers politics will remember that ONELGA was one of the flashpoint of political violence in Rivers State where hundreds of our party supporters and their families were summarily executed just for being members of the APC. ONELGA should therefore ordinarily be the last place on earth in which one would expect members of the APC to attack and attempt to kill one another for any reason whatsoever.
“It is therefore doubly painful that once more the lives of APC members in ONELGA are again on the firing line of Rivers politics. Basic human dignity, respect for the rights of others and the basic acknowledgment of the sanctity of human life is being assaulted in the name of political supremacy.
“I condemn this primitive recourse to violence with it every breath of my being and I urge every Rivers man and woman and indeed all right-thinking citizens of our country to raise their voices and be heard,” it added.
But in a swift reaction, two of Amaechi’s supporters fired back, saying, Abe was merely back to his path of destruction.
The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to a carefully choreographed media spin credited to Senator Magnus Abe and we as ordinary party folks who suffered directly and are still suffering, the brunt of Senator Abe’s selfish and destructive voyage prior to the 2019 general elections which gave wings for the Wike 2nd missionary journey into the Brick House to have a smooth sail.
“Maybe for the purposes of enlightening the uninformed public who may stumble on his half-truths, Senator Abe’s latest holier-than-thou media release is aimed at drawing public sympathy while he continues on his destructive agenda against the people of Rivers State to deny them the choice of a credible opposition, foisting a one-party state on us and aiding another PDP victory come 2023. God forbid!
“It sounds like a broken record to our ears, as suffering party nembers how Senator Abe keeps preaching to the choir on his membership or should we say pseudo-membership of APC, while actively and openly dining and wining with the PDP on several fronts. We therefore do not need the permission of the leader of the party, His Excellency Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to respond to the tissues of lies and half-baked dramatization of the events that occurred in ONELGA and to describe as capital LIES FROM THE PIT OF HELL, the unsuccessful linking of the leader of the party to whatever Senator Abe claims transpired, as it is a well known fact that the leader of the party does not in secret or open, not even in the face of several provocations, resorted to violence as a means to make political statements.
Senator Abe’s group cannot be said to be a threat or cause for concern within the Rivers APC and no amount of alibi and innuendos to link the leader of the party to his failed agenda can make us take him seriously. Moreover, the same chameleonic Senator who once represented the Rivers South East Senatorial district had made unsubstantiated claims in the past of the bombing of his liaison office at Bori.