Battle For The Soul Of Rivers State: Magnus Abe, Rotimi Amaechi Fight On

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The Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Magnus Ngei Abe, has dissociated himself from the adoption of the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Abe said the APC under the Peter Odike led leadership is neither in alliance with the AAC nor any other political party in the state and urged his supporters to vote for candidates of their choice in Saturday’s Governorship and State House of Assembly general elections in the state.
He said APC’s national leadership has not issued any directive to its members in Rivers State to form an alliance with or join any political party in the state ahead of the elections.
The Senator, in a statement he personally signed, expressed regrets that the APC as a political party would not be on the ballot in view of the extant Supreme Court judgement on the Rivers APC, describing the apex court as the final hope of every oppressed Nigerian.
Abe stated that the Supreme Court had fixed its appeal for hearing on the 14th of March because Amaechi’s group had written a petition against the sitting panel of the Court and there was no time to constitute a fresh panel to hear the case before the elections.
The statement reads, “Yesterday, I was briefed by our legal team, that the Supreme Court of Nigeria fixed our appeal for hearing on the 14th of March, 2019, because the Amaechi’s group had written a petition against the sitting panel of the Court and there was no time to constitute a fresh panel to hear the case before the elections.
“Every effort made by our legal team to get a date for hearing before the elections tomorrow was unsuccessful. As a lawyer, I understand the position of the Supreme Court, and I urge all Rivers people who hoped and prayed for a different outcome to respect and honour the position of the Court.
“The Supreme Court is the final hope of every oppressed Nigerian and the only true rock on which our democracy can rest. With that position of the Court, the APC as a political party will not be on the ballot for tomorrow’s elections for Governorship and the House of Assembly.
“The only moral justification for the Amaechi faction’s petition to block the urgent hearing of our appeal and allow the APC to have candidates in this election is to further justify the narrative that we stopped the candidature of Tonye Cole and others.
“This narrative is, of course, false to our knowledge and to most Nigerians who followed events in Rivers State objectively.
“The candidature of Cole and others was deliberately built on a foundation of disobedience to court orders and orchestrated violence against the courts.

“These were actions taken by the APC leadership in Rivers State despite our warnings and appeals, that these actions were clear pathways to political disaster.
“Having successfully blocked our quest for justice and redemption for the APC, the same leadership has gone ahead to form an alliance with another political party the AAC, as I write I have not received or seen any statement from the national headquarters of our party directing our members in Rivers State to join or participate in any alliance with another political party in Rivers State.
“Indeed the national leadership of the AAC has come out publicly to dissociate itself from the alliance. On a personal note, I cannot participate in the alliance, for the reason that myself and other leaders of the APC in Rivers State considered as not loyal to the Minister of Transportation were not consulted.
“I, therefore, support the position of the State Chairman of the party, Prince Peter Odike, that there is no alliance with AAC in Rivers State.
“The alliance is nothing other than another attempt to enforce Amaechi’s right to pick a Governor for Rivers people that is loyal and answerable to him alone.
“We urge all Rivers people, particularly members of the APC to reject it and vote for candidates of their choice.
“After all is said and done, the only reason the AAC party candidates is being supported by the Minister today is because he either left or refused to join the APC, if he was a member of our party, the Minister would rather destroy the party than support him.
“The reason for the fight in the APC is the absolute determination of the Minister of Transportation not to consider any APC member for the Governorship race on the platform of our party.
“We must all condemn the escalating violence in Rivers State; I appeal to all politicians in Rivers State to conduct themselves in a manner that acknowledges that no Rivers man has a greater claim to Rivers State than another.
“In the present situation, the safety of voters cannot even be guaranteed; neither will the results of the elections be acceptable to the broad majority of our people if they are not allowed to freely exercise their franchise without the fear violence.
“I thank the security agencies for their vigorous efforts at ensuring peaceful atmosphere for elections in Rivers State but I must urge them to act at all times in the best interests of our country and its citizens.
“Finally to my supporters, please keep faith, we started this journey with nothing but our faith in God, if we lose our faith then we are left with absolutely nothing.
“Our God has been faithful; we have never plotted evil, mobilized violence or betrayed our principles in the quest for power.
“Every evil plot, every sponsored blackmail against us will not only fail but will fail woefully and the truth will prevail. The God of justice will definitely speak, and every other voice shall be silent,” Senator Abe stated.
But barely 24 hours to the elections, Amaechi has called on the people of Rivers not to cast their votes for Governor Nyesom Wike, as he accused him of sponsoring several killings in the state, an indication that he (Wike) does not care about the security of their lives.
According to Amaechi “All Wike has done so far is killings and he doesn’t care about the lives of the people”.
Amaechi made the statement at a meeting he had with the delegation of the British High Commission to Nigeria during their visit to him in his Port Harcourt residence on Friday.
Amaechi noted that “If Wike gets a second term, more people will die. The man is blood thirsty and he wants to kill us because of his second term ambition for the simple reason of milking the treasury of the state dry without considering what happens to the ordinary Rivers people. Stealing is in his blood”.

He wondered why Wike would be crying foul about the presence of military men instead of joining forces to encourage them to beef up security apparatus in the state.
He stated that the elections of 2015 could not in anyway be compared to the 2019 general elections in terms of security situation in the state.
“Would Governor Wike and his PDP party prefer the election of 2015 where thugs overwhelmed the state and unleashed terror on innocent Rivers people that resulted in the loss of so many lives on the streets of Port Harcourt? Even my cousin was also killed in front of Wike father’s house”.
Amaechi affirmed that with the presence of the Military in the State for Saturday’s elections, everybody including the APC and PDP members are protected.
He said Wike’s plan is to see the total withdrawal of the Military and then have a free hand to start killing APC members “as they did in previous elections”.
“You are aware that they killed four APC members in the LGA of the PDP National Chairman, beheaded them and took away their corpses.
“When I was the Governor of the state, I gave people assurances that my life is as important as their own lives”.
On his choice of endorsing the Governorship candidate of African Action Congress in tomorrow’s election , Amaechi said, “My party is not on the ballot for tomorrow’s election and you know I have the right to vote, that is why I will vote for the candidate of the AAC”.
Earlier, the head of the delegation and member of the British High Commission to Nigeria, Louis Edwards, said they were in Port Harcourt to support free,fair and credible elections.
She said already, they had engaged Stakeholders, Politicians, Security Chiefs and INEC Officials on the need for a peaceful exercise.
“We are here to support free, fair and peaceful election. We have engaged major stakeholders such as Politicians,Security Chiefs and INEC personnel on the need to have a peaceful election”, she said.

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