Abe To Amaechi: Rivers Not Your Property, You Can’t Handpick Next Governor
Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, has again tackled the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, accusing him of wanting to “single-handedly handpick” the next governor of Rivers state.
Abe and Amaechi, who belong to different factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, have been having a running battle over the former’s bid to become governor of the state.
The skirmish between both politicians is said to have led to the inability of the APC to field candidates in the state due to conflicting court judgments on whether or not the primary election conducted by one of the factions was lawful.
Following a Supreme Court judgment barring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing any candidate fielded by the APC, a faction of the party led by Amaechi had endorsed the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) against incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the poll.
INEC had on March 9 conducted governorship and state assembly elections in the state, but suspended the process after receiving reports of alleged distortion of the process by political thugs. The electoral umpire subsequently fixed March 23 to conclude elections in the state.
But speaking ahead of the elections, Senator Abe charged the people of Rivers to resist every alleged attempt by Amaechi to subvert their mandate, saying the decision on who becomes the next governor “rests squarely on the shoulders of Rivers people”
Abe was quoted by his spokesperson, Parry Saroh Benson, as making the statement at the funeral service of late Pa Macdonald Graham Harry, father of Dr. Ipalibo Harry, Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, which at Saint Alban’s Anglican Church Obuama, Degema Local Government Area of the State.
“All across the country, you could see that the people tried to vote. They also tried to count their votes but in Rivers State, the reverse was the case, because it is obvious that we did not learn from what happened in the 2015 general elections and draw our lessons appropriately,” said the Senator.
“I’ll like to appeal to Rivers people not to leave the future of our State in the hands of the politicians alone. This State belongs to all of us and no one man owns more or deserves more of Rivers State than others.
“I was very clear when I called on our supporters in the State to vote for a candidate of their choice in the governorship election and not to vote for the governorship candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) because it was an attempt by Rotimi Amaechi to single-handedly handpick a governor for Rivers people and he cannot.
“That is the decision that all Rivers people have as a right to freely participate in a process to elect whoever will govern the State,” said Abe.