Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former senator representing Rivers South-east, Senator Magnus Abe, yesterday raised the alarm that the party in the state was clearly heading for imminent danger due to impunity and clear disregard for political realities.
Abe, who was responding to claims by Senator Andrew Uchendu who belongs to a faction of APC in the state loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said it was sad that he (Uchendu) was not seeing the danger befalling the party in the state.
Uchendu had mockingly urged Abe to “stop crying” and join hands to rebuild the party in the state.
But in a statement he personally signed, Abe, a board member of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told Uchendu that he could not continue to keep quiet when the party was clearly heading for imminent danger.
He posited that as an experienced politician, Uchendu should know that Rivers APC was being run with impunity in clear disregard for political and historical realities, a development he said poses serious risks to the party.
However, he argued that the senator would rather lie and pretend that all is well to please the powers that be, instead of speaking up like he (Abe) is doing.
He alleged that after spending 12 years in the House of Representatives, Uchendu stood before the people of Etche at a public rally to promise the people that he would only run for Senate once, and support the people of Etche.
“When the next time came around, Uchendu shamelessly snatched the party ticket under the nose of the same people and told them that he was ordered by the party to go back to the senate.
He could not tell the party, of which he claimed to be a leader that it was unfair, unjust and indeed dishonourable to lie publicly to the people of Etche.
“Chief Uchendu was at a meeting, with myself and others when we agreed in 2015 that our governorship ticket in the APC would go to the Rivers South-east Senatorial District as the only senatorial district in the state that is yet to produce a chief executive in Rivers State,” Abe maintained.
He insisted that if the senator could not keep his word to the Etche people, he could not keep his commitment before his own family, and wondered how he can then tell the truth about zoning in the APC.
“Where was Chief Uchendu when the minister unilaterally changed the agreed zoning from Rivers South-east senatorial district, to riverine and upland in order to bring in his friend and partner who was a total stranger to the politics of Rivers State?.
“If he had the courage to cry out in any of these circumstances perhaps things would be different today in the APC,” Abe stated.
He alleged that just as Uchendu could not speak up for the people of Etche, he also could not speak up for the party and therefore failed the test of leadership, noting that ultimately the truth will triumph over deceit.
He vowed to continue to speak the truth, saying that Uchendu’s failure and manifest inability to behave as a father and a leader is at the heart of the crisis that continues to bedevil the APC in Rivers state.
He insisted the members of the party have not been allowed to participate or benefit from the party in the state since the leader declared in Uchendu’s presence have been told that they were no longer members of the party, contrary to the constitution of the party.
“When they paid for forms to participate in the party congresses, they were summarily excluded by the minister of transportation for supporting Senator Abe, and Senator Uchendu could not open his mouth as a leader to say it was wrong.
“These are the people that Uchendu expects to go and revalidate their membership as part of the circus now going on in the APC in Rivers state. What has Uchendu done as a leader to assure them that things will be different this time around?,” he queried.
He explained that he had not revalidated his membership of the APC because he would like to receive clear and unambiguous assurances from the party that himself and his supporters would be treated differently this time around.
“The choice is open to us all. For me if I see something, I will say something. I have no apologies to offer for speaking the truth,” he stated