The Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Magnus Ngei Abe, has dissociated himself from the adoption of the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Abe said the APC under the Peter Odike led leadership was neither in alliance with the AAC nor any other political party in the state and urged his supporters to vote for candidates of their choice in Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assembly election..
He said the APC national leadership had not issued any directive to its members in Rivers State to form an alliance with or join any political party in the state ahead of the elections.
The senator, in a statement he personally signed, expressed regrets that the APC as a political party would not be on the ballot in view of the extant Supreme Court judgment on the Rivers APC, describing the apex court as the final hope of every oppressed Nigerian.
Abe stated that the Supreme Court had fixed his appeal for hearing on the 14th of March because Amaechi’s group had written a petition against the sitting panel of the Court and there was no time to constitute a fresh panel to hear the case before the elections.
The statement reads, “Yesterday, I was briefed by our legal team, that the Supreme Court of Nigeria fixed our appeal for hearing on the 14th of March, 2019, because the Amaechi’s group had written a petition against the sitting panel of the Court and there was no time to constitute a fresh panel to hear the case before the elections.
“Every effort made by our legal team to get a date for hearing before the elections tomorrow was unsuccessful. As a lawyer, I understand the position of the Supreme Court, and I urge all Rivers people who hoped and prayed for a different outcome to respect and honour the position of the Court.
“The Supreme Court is the final hope of every oppressed Nigerian and the only true rock on which our democracy can rest. With that position of the Court, the APC as a political party will not be on the ballot for tomorrow’s elections for Governorship and the House of Assembly.
“The only moral justification for the Amaechi faction’s petition to block the urgent hearing of our appeal and allow the APC to have candidates in this election is to further justify the narrative that we stopped the candidature of Tonye Cole and others.
“This narrative is, of course, false to our knowledge and to most Nigerians who followed events in Rivers State objectively.
“The candidature of Cole and others was deliberately built on a foundation of disobedience to Court orders and orchestrated violence against the courts.
“These were actions taken by the APC leadership in Rivers State despite our warnings and appeals, that these actions were clear pathways to political disaster.
“Having successfully blocked our quest for justice and redemption for the APC, the same leadership has gone ahead to form an alliance with another political party the AAC, as I write I have not received or seen any statement from the national headquarters of our party directing our members in Rivers State to join or participate in any alliance with another political party in Rivers State.
“Indeed the national leadership of the AAC has come out publicly to dissociate itself from the alliance. On a personal note, I cannot participate in the alliance, for the reason that myself and other leaders of the APC in Rivers State considered as not loyal to the minister of transportation were not consulted.
“I, therefore, support the position of the State Chairman of the party, Prince Peter Odike that there is no alliance with AAC in Rivers State.
“The alliance is nothing other than another attempt to enforce Amaechi’s right to pick a Governor for Rivers people that is loyal and answerable to him alone,” he said.
On the crisis in APC, Abe said: “The reason for the fight in the APC is the absolute determination of the Minister of Transportation not to consider any APC member for the Governorship race on the platform of our party.”
He called on all the people of the state to condemn the escalating violence in Rivers State and appealed to all politicians in the state to conduct themselves in a manner that acknowledges that no Rivers man has a greater claim to Rivers State than another.