October 4, (THEWILL) – The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu and its governors, of dividing the party by repeated visits to the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.
The Rivers Governor has been at the centre of the crisis in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was a former local government chairman and a former Minister of State for Education
Wike is demanding that the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, steps down – a request that has caused division in the PDP with APC presidential and Labour Party presidential candidates courting him.
He twice met Tinubu in London and hosted a delegation of governors from South West on the platform of the APC in Rivers State.
Arising from the development, the APC in Rivers State said meeting Wike, whose party rules the state and has a formidable presidential candidate (Atiku Abubakar), a direct opponent of the APC presidential candidate is not only discouraging but damaging to the prospect of the party in the 2023 elections.
The party made its feelings known during a one-day consultative meeting of the South-South executive committee presided over by the APC National Vice Chairman of the zone, Victor Giadom, in Port Harcourt.
Speaking, the state APC legal adviser, Dike Iheanyi Zubi, said, “It is very discouraging for the APC here in Rivers State to see a situation where the presidential candidate of our party, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his handlers, including South-West Governors of the APC coming to the state to undermine our party here in Rivers State.
“And they begin to hobnob and hold nocturnal meetings with Wike, who is seen as a contender with the APC here in the state.
“So, we as APC members here frown at such action because it doesn’t encourage us here. We consider it as anti-party on the side of Ahmed Tinubu and his cohorts.
“Instead of coming to strengthen the Rivers State chapter of the party, they are busy hobnobbing with Governor Wike, who is a PDP member. For the APC in Rivers State, we see it as an affront and anti-party.
“So, I call on the national chairman of the party and President Buhari to call him (Tinubu) and his cohorts to order. They should stop dividing the Rivers APC. APC is one family.”
Also Speaking, a former caretaker committee chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and state house of assembly candidate for the 2023 election, Lawrence Chukwu, said, “As a party, the kind of embarrassment we are receiving from our leaders who come to Rivers State is unbearable.
“Imagine that Governor Wike is abusing the president (Buhari) and our leader (Rotimi Amaechi) every day. Yet, our leaders and some governors of the party will come to Rivers State to commission projects in Rivers State.
“They will not even bother to visit members of the party before leaving. It is very bad. The APC here in Rivers State has what it takes to win elections here. All we need is support, we need financial support from the National (headquarters).
“This kind of embarrassment should stop. The party must do what is right to win elections in the state”,Prof. Chukwu said.
The APC Chairman in the State, Emeke Beke, who belongs to the faction of former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said, “We have written to the President, to the national chairman, to the candidate (Tinubu), to the chairman of the governors’ forum and the Director General of the campaigns.
“You people asked us to nominate five names for the campaign council. None of the five names we sent appeared on the list because they don’t like Rotimi Amaechi. From the zone, no one (names) appeared. And the chairmen have taken a position on that. We will down our tool.
“As you go back tell the national chairman that Rivers State bought forms of over one billion naira. And what we are asking, remit to the state 25 percent of that money.
“If that money is not remitted to Rivers State, forget about coming to Rivers State to campaign for a presidential candidate.
“We will vote for our national assembly state house of assembly candidates and focus on the governorship candidate of this state and we will win.”
On his part, the chairman of the party in Obio/Akpor LGA, Sydney Nyeche, said the visit to Wike “rubbishes” their efforts to reclaim Rivers.
His words: “Visiting Wike is an embarrassment to our efforts in trying to reclaim the state.
“We find it disrespectful that while we are toiling for the party in the state, some group of governors from the west (south-west) will come to the state, go to Rumueprikom and negotiate with Nyesom Wike.
“The attention of the national chairman is drawn to this because we will not tolerate this anymore. We have had enough.
“We urge the national working committee (NWC) of the party to warn these governors from the west to desist from coming to the state to negotiate with the governor.
“This level of embarrassment we have suffered should stop. I cannot be threatened every day because of my political leanings and somebody will come from the west to rubbish our efforts.
“If they cannot come to the state to show solidarity with us, they should stop coming to the state.”