Senator Abe Laments Lingering Crisis in Rivers APC
The Senator representing Rivers East in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe has said has the possibility of addressing the lingering crisis in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was bleak unless the national leadership of the party do the right thing and put an end to the reign of impunity in the state.
Senator Abe said the crisis is persisting because some leaders of the party in the state were averse to dissenting views, adding that the foundation of the crisis in the party is intolerance of dissenting views, impunity, high-handedness and lack of respect for others.
Similarly, members of the APC in the state stormed the party national secretariat to protest against what they described as impunity within the party in Rivers state and appealed to the leadership to immediately do the needful and avoid a Zamfara like treatment from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a statement Friday issued on his behalf by Kennedy Friday of the Kairos Media Group, the senator dismissed allegations that he was being sponsored by the state Governor, Nyesom Wike to destabilize the APC in Rivers state.
He said “The crisis in Rivers APC began long before Sen. Abe’s thanksgiving to which Gov. Wike along with other Governors, senators and ministers attended. The foundation of the crisis in the party is intolerance of dissenting views, impunity, high-handedness and lack of respect for others. Disregard for all rules and laws including the constitution of the party and even orders of courts of competent jurisdiction. Until this is addressed the crisis will continue and singing Wike as a song will not change anything”.
Reacting to an earlier statement accusing him of working for the Rivers Governor, Senator Abe said “Our attention has been drawn to a statement issued by Mr. Chris Finebone whose election as Publicity Secretary of Rivers APC has been nullified by the judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction spewing fire and brimstone against a judicial officer and the court of law. The statement also attempted to retool a tired and monotonous blackmail of an imagined collaboration between Sen. Magnus Abe and Gov. Nyesom Wike.
“This same tendency and inclination to become a law unto themselves, thrive in impunity, intimidate everyone with contrary opinion, disobey lawful orders and trample on the will of the people is the very root of the challenges confronting Rivers APC today. Instead of allowing for a moment of introspection, Chris Finebone and his sponsors are scavenging everywhere looking for people to blame for the problems they themselves created.
“It’s a known fact today that many state chapters of APC across the nation are mired in crisis, with many cases in court arising from same attitude demonstrated by the leader of Rivers APC to subdue the voices of the people. Are all those cases also instituted in collaboration with Gov. Nyesom Wike?
“Was it Gov. Nyesom Wike who collaborated with the Minister of Transportation to exclude thousands of Rivers APC faithful who paid money to the party to participate in the congresses?
“Was it Governor Wike who instructed the Minister to order security agents to open fire on innocent APC members who were protesting their exclusion from participating in the congresses? Or did the Minister collaborate with Wike by hijacking materials for APC congresses to INTELS camp in Port Harcourt away from the reach of party faithful?”
However, protesting at the APC secretariat, members of the party from the state led by Amb. Anosike Odowa, Hon. Bethel Oko Jaja and Hon. Onyeche Uloma said if something was not done fast about the Rivers State APC, it May suffer the same pronouncement INEC gave to Zamfara State.
The Rivers State APC asked the party leadership and President Muhammad Buhari to rescue the party from the hands of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Ameachi, while demanding that the court ruling on Rivers State APC should be obeyed by the party, just as they also demanded for Direct primaries in the State.
Hon. Anosike Odowa who spoke on their behalf said, “We are members of APC from Rivers State. We are here this morning to register our grievances, to speak to the National Chairman of the party and the NEC of our party that one man called Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation has gone ahead to disobey Court judgement. He has gone to bring his business partner to be the candidate of our party and we are saying that Tonye Cole, we don’t know him.
“We are members of this party, we struggled for this party and we believe that APC, while we left PDP to APC is because of impunity and injustice. Now, the National Chairman of our party, should do the right thing by accepting the result of direct primaries which Distinguished Senator Magnus Abe emerged as the winner.
“The Court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Port Harcourt has ruled and voided every activities of the purported primaries conducted by Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi. Indirect primaries conducted by Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi has been voided and in law it cannot stand.
“If APC wants to win Rivers state then Magnus Abe is the Governor of Rivers state. We will stop at nothing; we will fight with our last strength to ensure that justice must prevail.
“We are stakeholders in this party and I will advice the National Chairman to be upright and Amaechi should stop pushing him, this party is not Amaechi Peoples Party, it is All Progressives Congress not Amaechi Personal property. We want to ask that the National Chairman should live up to expectation and do the right thing.
“We know him to be a man who is upright but he should not allow his integrity to be questioned in this matter. Rivers state is for direct primaries and Magnus Abe emerged winner of the direct primaries.”
On the allegation of Abe working for the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Bethel Oko Jaja said, “We want to say without fear and contradiction that senator Magnus Abe is a true APC member, he has never betrayed the confidence reposed in him. When Mangus went to receive the bullet, everybody was saying that ‘this is a true APC member’, did he tell them to disallow them from contesting the primaries that they were supposed to contest.
“When we wanted to do our ward, local government and state primaries, did he say they should not contest? When they deprived people and they went to a court of competent jurisdiction to address the issue they said he is working with Wike, today they are accusing him.
“He remains the only committed APC member that has worked for this party. You recall that in 2015, when PDP won election in Rivers state and it was nullified and in December 2016 to be precise that election was conducted. The only man who won his senatorial district is Magnus Abe.
“He gave APC a face in Rivers state; APC would have been lost and forgotten today in Rivers state. Magnus Abe stood and won the election. Today they are accusing him of fighting for his right, he is fighting for the good right of Rivers people, he is fighting to liberate the people impunity perpetuated by one man.
“We are sending a strong message across to the national chairman of All Progressives Congress, our own brother, Adams Oshiomhole, to leave up to expectation, the leader of this party and commander-in-chief of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to please intervene in this matter.
“We are committed members of APC in Rivers state. Impunity must not prevail; one man should not hold the party to ransom. We will stand against it. We believe in direct primary and on the one that was conducted on 30th September Abe emerged the winner and remains candidate of the APC come 2019 governorship election in Rivers state. “