- APC Hierachy, Govs Back Abe, Fault Amaechi
- Pro-Amaechi Group Threatens War, Plots to Expel Abe
By Austin Osayende, Abuja Bureau Chief
The plots and counter plots over the 2019 governorship race in Rivers State within the All Progressives Congress(APC) has assumed a very frightening dimension as the political war between Transport Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and his one-time political ally, Senator Magnus Abe has escalated beyond control, threatening to blow open a tinderbox of unmitigated bloody war between supporters of both camps.
Senator Abe is said to be revving up his political structures in readiness to contest the 2019 governorship polls but this has not gone down well with the Minister of Transportation, Mr Amaechi who is not disposed to Abe’s aspiration. The former Governor, Mr Amaechi is said to be interested in using his influence within the APC to push aside Abe and position some else in the person of Tonye Cole of Sahara Energy for the 2019 governorship elections in Rivers State.
Sources revealed that the anger within the camps of Abe and to a reasonable extent, Dakuku Peterside’s over Amaechi’s resolve to push ahead with Tonye Cole ‘’ is so high that both sides may team up to teach Amaechi a political lesson of his life because Tonye Cole is more or less just Rotimi’s front for business deals.”
The New Diplomat Political intelligence Desk gathered that the plots by Amaechi to bring in Tonye Cole, a man regarded as his business front to run for the 2019 governorship polls on the ticket of APC has drawn the ire of some top members of the APC hierarchy in Abuja as well as angers some APC governors who fell ‘’that Amaechi is overreaching himself and over-rating himself when Wike has continued to beat him mercilessly in Rivers State,”
Said an insider:” Amaechi is overreaching himself. Wike has completely put him in the political cooler in Rivers politics. In the most recent elections, it was only Magnus Abe who was able to hold tight to the local governments in Ogoni land as Wike swept everywhere including over-running Amaechi’s own immediate Ikwere base while Dakuku could not deliver anything significant in Opobo. So if APC is serious in Rivers, the best bet is to field Magnus Abe who is strong politically. He can face Wike head to head. And he would hold Ogoni land and use there to launch out. But I think Amaechi is afraid of him politically because they are peers. Don’t forget, Magnus was APP minority Leader in the Rivers House of Assembly while Amaechi was Speaker. They all teamed up to neutralize Odili. But what happened to Peter Odili is now likely to play out against Amaechi as Magnus, Dakuku, others formerly loyal to Amaechi are very angry with his decision to bring in Tonye Cole.’’
But a group loyal to Amaechi known as the Inter Ethnic Network for Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi declared that there is no crisis in Rivers APC. A statement signed by its Director of Central Working Committee, Mr Anchor Omodu noted that these so called crisis should be dismissed as they are tissues of lies and propaganda by Wike to divide APC in Rivers State. The group also threatened to work for the expulsion of Abe if he refuses to submit himself to the wishes and dictates of Amaechi who is the leader of APC in Rivers State.
‘’There is no crisis in Rivers APC. It is the handiwork of Governor Wike who is bent on causing trouble and sponsoring crisis in the APC. Rotimi Amaechi is fully in charge and leading the APC well in Rivers State. If anyone fails to obey the democratic dictates, he will have to leave for another party to nurse his ambition.”. he declared. It would be recalled that the intra-party crisis hitting the APC in Rivers State has led to dissolutions and counter dissolutions of its Executive Committees.
But an insider added: “ Rotimi does not know that he has lost his political relevance and it is in his best interest to support Magnus Abe if that would help. Because he was initially trying to rob shoulders with Tinubu in 2015 with massive funds for the Buhari elections with the hope that he would be SGF under Buhari’s presidency. But when he lost Rivers and Tinubu delivered the whole South West to Buhari which made him win the Presidency, it was then Amaechi shut his mouth. Today , he has no political base. Wike has completely taken over and seize the political machinery in Rivers State.
What remains are the Ogoni side which is controlled by Magnus Abe. “ But this was faulted by Omodu, the spokesman for the Pro-Amaechi Group who insisted that Abe is not on ground that the real structure is in the hands of Amaechi. He declared: ‘’ Let us wait and see who is actually in control. Amaechi will produce the next governor of Rivers State by 2019 whether Abe and Wike like it or not. I can bet you on that.”