Emeka Bekee is the chairman of the APC in Rivers State. His party has suffered many things in the hands of its members who keep defecting to other political parties, especially the PDP. Only recently, the party’s spokesman, Chris Finebone jumped ship and is now speaking against the party he used to defend some days ago.
But Bekee, who was speculated to be next in line to defect, told TNN in this interview that he was a man of integrity and would never join the PDP, even as he said the state governor, Nyesom Wike could not buy him.
There have been movements out of your party. Only recently, Chris Finebone who was the spokesman of the party also left. Would you say this is because Ameachi failed during the APC presidential primary election? What’s going on? It appears all is not well with your party in Rivers.
First, I would say all is going well. The truth is that, in life people take decisions on their own, and when it comes to people leaving, what is leaving is probably one individual from a particular place, but majority of people still remain in the party. Chris Finebone leaving, the man in question is from his family and we already have the information, which I confronted him in a meeting we had, and he said he will not leave. Now, suddenly he has left, I don’t think it’s because of, some people just act because of his own, probably what he feels and that’s why probably he left.
In politics, when, probably, everybody is expecting the head to get something and the head didn’t get, people will say perhaps that’s the end of the road, that is what I can tell you.
All is 100 per cent well in the party, I must tell you that. I am there and I know who and who is, I know who adds electoral value for what we are doing. We are very okay and strong. Let’s take for example, like PDP, probably two, five persons leave now, you will feel all is not well? No, all is well. What has just moved is one person, in the midst of the many persons.
(Cuts in) It’s not only…
(Cuts in) For us as a party, our eyes are on the ball. You know when you are playing ball your eyes on the ball gulf, you know, our eyes are on the ball. We know where we are going, we know what we are targeting, we know what we are looking for, I don’t think anything has really gone wrong in the party.
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But, were you shocked when you heard that Chris Finebone had left, especially after he told you he was not leaving?
Look, I was not shocked because I already know. I had already gotten the information. I confronted him, he is my friend. I started with Chris Finebone from the formation of this party; he is a man that I’ve worked with, I’ve known his strength when it comes to this media thing. But I told him in a meeting, I said this is not the Chris Finebone I used to know and I know that definitely, something was wrong because he is the head of the family, he is a chief in the family of the PDP candidate, and he has said that he can never do anything against him, that he cannot speak against him.
Before Chris Finebone, there were others that left-Ogbonna Nwuke, Dawari George, Ibim Semenitari left and the rest of them. How is Amaechi taking this?
First, he is a human being. When people you’ve worked with for a very long time, suddenly decide to leave, definitely, you will say okay. I don’t think it’s affecting him, other than for him to say well, ‘this is one of those things in life.’ You won’t say because he has left that is the end of life. No. Definitely, you don’t expect that everybody will remain with you. People will leave from PDP to APC and people are leaving from APC to PDP.
But do you think Ameachi’s failure during the APC primaries has changed anything in the state? What impact do you think that failure has done to APC in Rivers State?
Failure is not anything anybody will like to probably have something to do with. Yes, when you expect that your principal is going to get something, suddenly it doesn’t happen, you expect some people to say, ah, what is this, why? Is this going to be the end of life, or end of the road in politics? That’s what some people tell you. Even though in life, you expect certain things to happen. When people are looking out for a particular thing and suddenly it doesn’t happen, how will you feel? People will be a little bit shaky, but I think after that, you will be able to put yourself together and continue moving.
So, in what ways, practically, do you think that incident, that singular incident has affected the APC in Rivers?
It’s just the name, probably X, Y, Z have left the party, you understand? Aside that nothing. I’ve been in politics and I know who probably leaves the party it gives a serious concern. He is the spokesman of the party, yes. People will say oh, this man that speaks very well has finally left this party. A day before he left, he said something concerning the other side of the party, and suddenly… So people will say ah, why is this man leaving. In a situation like this when they say X, Y, Z has left, probably the big name, people will say oh, the spokesman of the party has left. Aside that, nothing.
After Chris Finebone left, there were insinuations that you were also on the line
To do what?
You were also on the line to leave.
To do what?
To leave APC.
It’s laughable. I have a name to protect. To leave to what, to go and do what? You know sometimes you expect people to say all sorts of things. It was Kennedy Friday who said that. It’s not correct, it’s not in my character. I have a name to protect. Probably you can ask who is my father. I’m not those people who will probably be looking for money to eat. By the grace of God, I am very contented. Why will I go to PDP? For what? What will they give to me? It’s not, I’ve never thought about it one day in my entire life. PDP is not an option for me. Let’s not go that side.
Before Chris Finebone left, he said things like this too.
I’m not Chris Finebone. If you listen to me, probably find out who is Emeka, who is Bekee. I am not Chris Finebone, I will never be Chris Finebone, I will never be Dawari George, I will never be Tolofari George. I am calling all the people that probably have left. I will not. What am I going to do there in the first place? I want to ask, what am I going to do there? Are people there better than me? I want to know. What, how much will Governor Wike offer me?
In other words, Wike cannot buy you?
(cuts in) He can’t, he doesn’t have what it takes, he can’t buy me. I don’t go where I didn’t work for. How many times has Wike sent people to me and I told him, I can’t work with him?
Why can’t you work with Wike?
Why will I work with him? I know Wike very well. He is someone that we’ve related and I can’t work with him. I am a man with principles. I never worked for PDP, why should I go to where I never worked for, what am I going to find there, what are you giving me that I will go to somewhere else? I didn’t go there now, how many more months to end up the government? That’s where you said I want to go to, please let’s talk something serious and better.
But you’ve not answered that question sir. You’ve not told me why you cannot work with Wike.
I said I cannot work with PDP, I cannot work with Governor Nyesom Wike. You know some months back, both of us were exchanging words on ourselves, he was on radio and I was on radio. I can’t, I’m sorry please. I can’t, I don’t want to discuss such issues that are not really important to me. There are things that I will and would want to answer not to work with Governor Wike. Work with him for what?
Somebody once described the current state of APC and painted a picture of this advert that we used to watch on TV, one advert where people used to advertise and say shaky, shaky daddy, and somebody was saying that is the way the APC is now, shaky, shaky party.
(Cuts in) Ask the people what is making it shake? You see, when you stay outside you hear what people say. That is what you say from outside because you are not inside, we are not shaking, don’t worry yourself.
The way things are now in your party, do you think that the party still has anything left to be able to defeat the PDP in Rivers State, in 2023?
First and foremost, let me make it clear, PDP has never won election in Rivers State. You know that, one man one vote. What they are trying to do till tomorrow is to make sure that APC is not on the ballot. If their party, if a political party is strong, you will want everybody to be on the ballot, PDP does not want anybody to be on the ballot, and we are not scared of PDP.
Okay, so, between SIM of PDP and Magnus of SDP and Dawari George of AA. Between these three I’ve mentioned who are you more afraid of, who are you more worried about?
If you say in the ballot, I don’t think that Accord is an option, or SDP is an option. We only have two political parties in this country; PDP and APC. Forget about the other parties, most of them don’t have spread at all, no spread, that’s the truth. The only two political parties we have is APC and PDP; let’s talk about them, forget about the other ones.
But in this case we are not just looking at SDP, we are also looking at the man behind it, that’s Magnus Abe.
Oooooooh! Please, I don’t like calling names.
Yeah, because that’s the candidate of the SDP.
I don’t want to talk about individuals, but he’s not a problem, we have a couple of months to election, then we will know who is who.
As we prepare for 2023, what should Rivers people look up for, what should they expect?
Unbiased election. Very key. Expect the best of all the candidates to win election in Rivers State, expect the best candidate to win election in Rivers State.
And where do you think the best candidate will come from?
If I should look at all of them in terms of exposure, and who is prepared, and who is ready to run governorship of the state, to develop the state, it’s Tonye Cole.