Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
A former lawmaker, representing Rivers South-east Senatorial district, Senator Magnus Abe, has lamented that people opposed to his ambition to be governor of Rivers State went as far as accusing him of plotting to kill President Muhammadu Buhari in their bid to scuttle his ambition.
This came as he gave reasons why he went to court against some persons who wrote libelous stories against him in the media.
Abe, in a statement he personally signed and titled: “Rivers APC Crisis: No One Can Rewrite History,” said Nigerians are aware that the crisis in the APC in Rivers State had its origin in the alleged unconstitutional decision of the leader of the party in the state, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, to summarily expel him, and other leaders of the party in the state that were sympathetic to his governorship ambition for no discernible reason.
The senator further alleged that Amaechi’s directive to unilaterally exclude party members from all party activities without due process was also the origin and the root of the crisis in the party.
He alleged: “Indeed, prior to the troubled congresses, the then state chairman of the party, Chief Ibiamu Ikanya, called an all-inclusive stakeholders/state SEC meeting of Rivers State APC where all the issues were amicably resolved, including the distribution of forms to all aspiring party members.
“An all-inclusive committee was set up to implement the resolutions of that meeting, as soon as the minister was informed of this move, he not only dissolved the committee but he voided the efforts and consensus decisions reached by the entire leadership.
“The minister directed that in keeping with his earlier directives at the Dome, members of the party perceived as sympathetic to Senator Abe be excluded from the congresses and denied the forms they paid for.”
The former Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA at the 8th National Assembly said those members, Ibrahim Umar and 22 others who went to court, rightfully secured an injunction on the facts but again alleged that the minister directed the party to disobey.
Abe added that he approached the courts because in an unprecedented sponsored media campaign, the facts were buried and re-crafted by hired publicists for the minister who became the face of the attempt to re-write history.
“Those who went to court were accused of working for Governor Nyesom Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The courts were promoted as Wike’s supermarkets. Some of Amaechi’s publicists went as far as accusing me of plotting with the Vice President to kill President Buhari and collecting billions of Naira from Governor Wike and the PDP to destabilise the APC in Rivers State.
“I was painted to the Nigerian public as a desperate politician who destroyed his party because of his personal ambition.”
“These false and baseless allegations moved beyond the social media and became accepted as truths to a point where credible media were confident enough to carry this smear campaign on their pages and give it legitimacy and credibility.
“It is for this reason that I have instituted suit numbers PHC/3314/2019 and PHC/3663/2019 to give an opportunity to those who have made these allegations in an effort to rewrite the history of the Rivers State APC crisis to come before the courts, and the public and present the facts on which they stand.
“My integrity and reputation remain my most valuable assets. If I lose that to the politics of hate and deceit, then I would have lost everything.
“My lawsuit, therefore, is not intended as a war against any media house, it is rather an open challenge to those who have peddled falsehood when they know the truth to now present the facts behind their falsehood or forever be ashamed to silence,” he alleged.
The senator appealed to all men of goodwill to remember that gold worth nothing, “if we lose our name.” He pleaded for cooperation and understanding from all stakeholders.