From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The former senator representing Rivers South-East, Magnus Abe, has declared that the announcement by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi purportedly zoning the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship to the riverine part of the state will never stand.
This as Senator Abe has described Amaechi’s announcement as a “Greek gift” intended to set the riverine people against other parts of Rivers State.
Abe made the declaration on Tuesday, while addressing his supporters at the Freedom House, Port Harcourt.
He stressed that no group in the state could produce a governor without the support and cooperation of other parts of the state, adding that the Minister was only expressing his personal opinion in the choice of governorship candidate and not the mind of all the party members.
According to Abe: “It is a Greek gift. It will fetch you nothing because it was not well intended, and it was not well intentioned. When the mind of the person giving you something is not clear, you know that gift will not be useful to you”.
“When he (Amaechi) went to Gokana, he said there would be no imposition in the party. And that party members should be allowed to choose a candidate of their choice. And I thought that was a subtle attempt to try to warm back people on your heart, to show that party has now learnt its lesson, and was willing to do things differently, so that we can move forward and succeed.
“But, a few days ago, I saw a video clip of the same man in Ogu/Bolo announcing that they should go and prepare for a riverine governor. And that the governorship has been zoned to Ogu/Bolo, Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru, Degema. And I said, is that a sign of change?
“Let me say it here loud and clear, that what the Minister expressed in Ogu/Bolo, is his personal opinion. He does not speak for all of us in the APC.
“When you want to Zone, there must be a process. There must be consultation. The people that are being zoned in must understand why they are zone in. And the people that are zoned out must know why they are being zoned out. I want to stand here and say that it will not work.
“No group in Rivers State can produce a governor without the support, without the cooperation, without consultation with others groups in the state. No one individual has that power”.
The former federal lawmaker, also dismissed insinuation that he was employed by Amaechi when he was the state government, insisting that it was Rivers State government that employed both of them.
He maintained: “I want to say emphatically that, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was my boss and I respect him; and I have always respected him. But, I was not his staff and I was not his employee.
“We were both employees of Rivers State government. He, as governor, was an employee to the government. I, as Secretary to the Rivers State Government, was an employee of Rivers State Government”.