The festering political rift between Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe, is not likely to end pretty soon. The antagonism between the two hitherto political associates is worsening by the day.
It all began with Abe’s governorship ambition. In 2015, Amaechi shut Abe out of the governorship race by crowning his favourite, Dakuku Peterside.
Having learnt his lesson, so it seemed, Abe did not want to leave anything to chance in the 2019 race. His seeming rebellious attitude did not go down well with Amaechi who had another anointed political son in mind.
The battle of supremacy between the two political titans, denied the All Progressives Congress (APC) the opportunity to present electoral candidates in the 2019 polls in Rivers State. Despite the major setback for the party, the two gladiators are yet to explore the possibility of enduring peace in their party which is suffering from a severe internal bleeding.
Abe who is representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the Red Chamber of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly, is insisting that no one can handpick a governor for Rivers, one of the biggest oil and gas state in the country.
According to him, the right to do so rests squarely on the shoulders of Rivers people to freely choose who will lead them.
The senator who was speaking at the funeral service of late Pa Macdonald Graham Harry, father of Dr. Ipalibo Harry, Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, held at Saint Alban’s Anglican Church Obuama, Degema Local Government Area of the state.
While condemning the violence that characterised the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state, describing it as a shame, Abe further said that the election was not only an embarrassment to the country but unacceptable even as he wondered why people have failed to learn from the past.
Continuing, he said, ‘’all across the country, you could see that the people tried to vote. They also tried to count their votes but in Rivers, 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.
‘’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 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.’’