The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday, revealed that only him will determine who emerges as the Gubernatorial flag bearer on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, ahead of 2019.
Speaking at the various stakeholders meetings, Amaechi vowed that nobody, not even President Muhammadu Buhari, could make him shift his ground on Senator Magnus Abe, and endorse his Gubernatorial ambition in the State.
This came on the heels of the power tussle between Amaechi and Senator Magnus Abe, over who controls the mainstream machinery of Rivers State chapter of the APC
At a stakeholders meeting at the residence of former Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Chief Nnamdi Wokekoro, at the Rumukalagbo axis of Port Harcourt, Amaechi said that the Gubernatorial ticket of the APC in the State, was his prerogative. The meeting, which began around 11.35 am, Amaechi suspended Worgu Boms, as the Leader of the APC caucus in Port Harcourt Local Government. Amaechi was alleged to have said: “I have foreclosed Abe’s Governorship ambition, as far as the Rivers APC is concerned. If he likes, let him run to President Buhari; that will not change anything. If he likes, let him go to the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, nothing will change.”
He stressed: “In my capacity as the Leader of the APC in Rivers State, Abe cannot be the Governorship candidate of the party in Rivers State, in 2019. Abe has no character. I hear the Executives of about 15 Local Government Areas are already working for him. I will see how far they can go.
“I am the only one that can determine who gets the party’s ticket in 2019. Suddenly, Abe has become something else in the party, because he won his Senatorial election. Was I not Governor for eight years? Was I not Speaker for eight years?” he asked.
Amaechi warned that he would suspend any Party Leader that was supporting Abe’s candidature for 2019.
“I remain the leader of the APC in Rivers State. Even if the 23 LGA Chairmen of the party support him, that will not change anything”, he boasted.
He recalled: “As the Speaker of the House of Assembly, I submitted his name to former Governor, Peter Odili, for appointment as Secretary to the State Government (SSG). But Odili turned down my request. Odili rather made him Commissioner for Information.
“I appointed him as SSG in my first term as Governor, because I wanted to fulfill my promise to him. I recommended that he should move to the Senate in my second tenure. Because I now operate from Abuja, Abe has expanded his tentacles all over the place. Just imagine people who are not even Politicians, are now telling me that it is only Abe that can win the Governorship seat for the APC, in 2019.
“I am waiting to see how they will make him the Governorship candidate of Rivers APC in 2019. We have the National Working Committee (NWC). We also have the National Executive Committee (NEC), of the party. But no one will deny that I have made enormous sacrifices for the party, to get to where it is today”, he said.
He branded Abe as a “treacherous Politician, who is now fraternizing full time with my political enemies in Rivers and Lagos States, including Abuja Politicians, who are always willing to flaunt their new found political titles and connections.”
The Minister of Transportation fumed: “I know Abe is a Senator. But I also know that he is fraternizing with my political enemies, like the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki. If Abe likes, let him come to Rivers State with the leadership of the National Assembly or that of the APC. I, Amaechi, will not support him for Governor in 2019.”