Rivers APC Denies Intra-party Rift

  •  State govt. tackles Amaechi 
  • Face governance, ex-gov tells Wike

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied any rift within the party, which is in opposition in the state.

The state Chairman of the APC, Dr. Davies Ikanya, in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday said contrary to media reports, there was no crisis in the party.

He described reports of crisis in the party as “entirely false and misleading”, adding that what was going on were mere changes being carried out by the leader of the APC in the State and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, in his political group.

He said, “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 the leader of the party in the state, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is making some changes in his personal political group. It is his right and prerogative to make any leadership changes within his own political caucus.”
He stated, “Contrary to fake wild speculations and deliberately misleading insinuations, no member of the party in the state has been stopped or prevented from seeking for any elective office. And we must reinstate here that no APC member will be stopped or prevented from seeking any elective office.

“For the purpose of clarity, we want to emphasise that as a truly democratic party, The APC in Rivers State will ensure a level-playing field for all its aspirants to any elective political office. In accordance with our party constitution, we shall be fair to all aspirants and will always ensure that the process leading to the emergence of our candidates for all elective political offices is free, fair and credible,” he said.

In a related development, the State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, said, “From all appearances, Amaechi is in campaign mode for the next election. His intention obviously is to impose a governor on Rivers State, through subterfuge and electoral gerrymandering in 2019.

“But anyone familiar with the politics of Rivers State would be struck by the cosmic irony of today’s event. It is a classic case of a rapist returning to his victim to ask for love. It is important to constantly remind a forgetful public, that Mr. Amaechi was indicted for stealing billions public funds, by a court-approved judicial panel of inquiry set up by the state government.”

However, Amaechi called on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to face governance and stop making him (Amaechi) an issue at the least opportunity.

Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt during a lecture organised by the Conscious Reformers Assembly to mark his 52nd birthday, Amaechi, who was the immediate past governor of the state, accused Wike of abandoning governance and focusing on attacking him (Amaechi) at every forum in the past two years.

He wondered why the governor would say that he (Amaechi) did not achieve anything during his eight years at the helm of affairs of Rivers State.

Amaechi said, “The governor is spending two years trying to convince people that I did nothing as a governor. In Ekpeye Kingdom, I built roads. I built schools. All the former governors and Shell built 725 schools. But when I was governor, I built 750 schools.

“I guaranteed free education, but two years after I left as governor, they are still talking about Amaechi; they should stop talking about me; they should shut up and start doing something. In my regime, I built Golf Estate and Rainbow Housing Estate, but they say I did not do anything.

He, however, pointed out that he had been betrayed by those close to him more than any politician in the country.

Among those who paid tribute to Amaechi at 52 were the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong; the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Nsima Ekere; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sani U. Sani; and the Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Umana Okon Umana.