Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and former senator representing Rivers South-East district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, seems to have disagreed over the possibility of conducting fresh congresses for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
Recall that that Amaechi had announced to his supporters during the reception in Abuja that followed his inauguration as a second term minister that they (supporters) should begin to prepare themselves for congresses as part of rebuilding and repositioning the party in Rivers State
While the former Senator is insisting that Amaechi’s directive to APC members in the state to prepare for fresh congresses as unacceptable, the Minister said the Ogoni-born politician is afraid of congresses.
Abe, while addressing some of his supporters in Port Harcourt, had noted that Amaechi, rather than concentrate on achieving the needed contribution to national development is creating another avenue for tension and crisis in the political structure of the party, demonstrating same unruly behavior that brought the party in Rivers state to a fiasco.
He urged the minister to demonstrate his sincerity of rebuilding the party by admitting his faults and respect the interest, rights and feelings of all members of the party, adding that the selfish interest of the Minister had led the party to where it is today in the state.
Abe said: “Look at our party here today in Rivers state, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on assumption of office as Minister of Transportation, the first thing he did was to announce Congress in Rivers state and I ask myself, this was the same kind of behaviour that led the party to where it is.
“Everybody in Nigeria knows that the origin of the crisis in Rivers APC was from the Congress and how the Congress was handled and there are Judicial pronouncements of the Congress which you ignored and led the party to ignore and we have all kept quiet in the hope that by keeping quiet we will create room for resolution of some of these challenges so the party can move forward.
“Instead, you become more crazy in your challenge to the rights, feelings and interest of others within the same political party. How do we do that and expect to make progress.
“What kind of Congress, is he the Chairman of the party, is he the National Working Committee, is he the Court, what gives him the power to come and announce Congress on the day you were inaugurated as Minister.”
But, in a swift response, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, queried why Abe has started showing early signs of apprehension for the forthcoming congresses of the APC in Rivers State.
The Minister expressed surprise that Abe would resort to unguarded language to express his indisposition and fear for congresses even when he (Amaechi) did not give date and time of congresses to his supporters.
He said: “I addressed my supporters to go home and prepare for congresses, I didn’t give them any date and time, and those are the responsibility of the national secretariat.
“Senator Magnus Abe has no reason to be afraid of congress; he should tell his supporters to also prepare for congresses of the party in the State since he says he is very popular. A popular politician should be very happy anytime congress is on the table.”