A beclouding governorship ambition of Magnus Abe, the senator representing Rivers South East was at the heart of the crisis in the stateâ€™s chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, a chieftain of the party who pleaded anonymity has said.
This also, the party chief said, was responsible for some of the stories flying around on the strained relationship between Abe and the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, both of whom were once seen as very close political allies.
The party chief believed to be quite close to both men revealed that the major cause of the rift was Abeâ€™s betrayal of Amaechi and his underhand tactics to make Amaechi â€˜anointâ€™ or support him as the APC governorship candidate for 2019.
â€œAll these stories of Amaechi trying to stop Abe from getting the APC governorship ticket in 2019 are not true. These are the false narratives Abe and a handful of his cronies want people to believe as the reason behind the issues they are having. But itâ€™s simply a lie, a concocted story to make Abe look like the victim, and wickedly albeit wrongly portray Amaechi as an oppressive dictator.
â€œThe real issue between them is that Abe wants Amaechi to â€˜anointâ€™ him as the Rivers APC gubernatorial candidate. Abe wants to be governor. Thatâ€™s fine and good. But it is his desperation and the underhand tactics he is now using to get Amaechi to support and â€˜anointâ€™ him as the Rivers APC candidate for the 2019 governorship elections that is causing all these problems between them.â€
The party chief contended that Amaechi refused to â€˜anointâ€™ Abe or any other APC aspirant that was interested in running for governor in 2019, because â€œAmaechiâ€™s position as the Leader of the party in Rivers State was that everyone with ambition to run for any elective office should hold it, keep it and work to build the party first.
â€œAmaechi made it clear that for the whole of 2017, rebuilding and re-strengthening the party should be the focus and goal of all APC members, and not campaigning for any elective office, whether openly or surreptitiously. That itâ€™s a bit too early for campaigns.
â€œHe advised that at the appropriate time, when the time is right, every aspirant could then come out and campaign openly and that all APC party candidates for all elective offices would emerge through the laid down process in the partyâ€™s constitution for the emergence of party candidates.
â€œAmaechi pointedly told the Director-General of NIMASA and the APC 2015 governorship candidate Dakuku Peterside and Abe not to heat up and divide the party in the state with their governorship ambitions. He advised them to keep their ambitions for now, work together in unity and harmony to build the party first. But for reasons best known to Abe, he decided to misconstrue Amaechiâ€™s directives to build the party first, as lack of support for him (Abe) and his governorship ambition.
â€œAbe started telling anyone, who cares to listen, that Amaechi hates him, that Amaechi does not want to support and â€˜anointâ€™ him as APC governorship candidate, and that Amaechi does not want him to be governor of Rivers State. A handful of Abeâ€™s cronies started spreading the false narrative. They used the traditional media, social media and word of mouth to spread the lie that Amaechi wants to stop or block Abeâ€™s ambition and started abusing, denigrating and calling Amaechi, the leader of APC in the State all sorts of names.
â€œAbe and his cronies in the party which are very few went further to try to undermine Amaechiâ€™s leadership of the party in the state. They would always go contrary to and against the party position on any issue; they started leaking to the public, through different means, details of private party meetings with Amaechi.
â€œThey were not just leaking but were also twisting the details from these meetings, most times, completely concocting and fabricating comments and ascribing these statements to Amaechi just to serve their ulterior agenda,â€ he said.
According to one source, â€œWhat Abe is currently instigating and doing against Amaechi is so wrong and immoral. Abe is deceptively playing the victim to portray Amaechi as the evil emperor villain. But that is not true, neither is it the true situation of things. Abe canâ€™t and should not do this to Amaechi. Amaechi has done so much, far so much for Abe. Agreed, Amaechi is not God, but God used Amaechi to make Abe who he is today.
â€œGod used Amaechi to make Abe, the Minority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, when Amaechi was the Speaker; God used Amaechi to make Abe Commissioner for Information for four years when Peter Odili was governor of Rivers State; God used Amaechi to appoint Abe the Secretary to the State Government for four years, when Amaechi was Governor of the State; and who in Nigeria does not know that Amaechi was instrumental to making Abe a two-term senator today?
â€œMagnus Abe and his cronies should not bite the fingers that fed them and still feeding them. Abe can have any ambition and run for any office he wants. No one can or will stop him, just as he canâ€™t force anyone to support or â€˜anointâ€™ him as APC governorship candidate. This attempt to move against Amaechi because Amaechi has refused to â€˜anointâ€™ him or because he perceives that Amaechi may not support him is so wrong,â€ he said.