The All Progressive Congress, APC, in Ogoni land, Rivers State, is now sharply divided over who will fly the flag of the party in the next general election. While the Khana Chapter of the party is rooting for Senator Magnus Abe, other stakeholders in other local government areas said they were pitching their tent with Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport.
Rising from a meeting in Bori, headquarters of Khana local government area, the APC Khana Chapter expressed worry that despite the Ogonis voting strength, they were yet to produce a governor in Rivers State.
The APC stakeholders at the meeting, therefore, endorsed the governorship candidature of Magnus Abe, the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial district.
The Leader of the Khana APC stakeholders Austin Nwankwo said that the forum chose Senator Abe because of the political investments he had made in the land. They declared: “The year of decision is coming very close.it is far approaching. We will not keep quiet. Can we still stay and watch them do it?
therefore after we looked through everybody, our distinguished Senator Magnus NGEI Abe stands very very tall in all thse political and economic investments.
” The Khana APC stakeholders also issued a communiqué read by Patrick Nwinyo Nkpugi calling on Senator Mgnus Abe not to delay any more in making public his intention to run for the position of governor in the party for 2019.
According to them, “Ogonis are one of the most densely populated ethnic groups in the state, from the South East Senatorial District through, but we are yet to produce a governor since its creation. The meeting therefore resolves that an Ogoni son be given the opportunity to of governorship of the party in 2019.
The distinguished Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, an Ogoni son, should present himself in this capacity” However, at a meeting held in Port Harcourt, the national, state, LGA and ward executives, appointees and major stakeholders of the APC from the four Ogoni-speaking LGAs of Rivers State resolved to stick with the position of Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the leader of the party in the state.
In a communiqué signed by Chief Victor Tombari Giadom, Deputy National Secretary and 61 others, the group affirmed loyalty to the party at the state and national levels. They declared: “We are resolutely committed to and totally supportive of the current APC rebuilding/repositioning efforts by the state party and Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in Rivers State.”
“We are thankful to President Muhammadu Buhari , Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi & the party for the many appointments made to party men from Ogoni, and major ongoing projects in Ogoniland.
Worthy of mention is the naming of Derek Mene to the position of Exec. Director (Finance/Admin.) in NDDC & H.E Oji Ngofa’s posting as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands. Some notable ongoing projects in Ogoniland include the commencement of the previously stalled Ogoni Environmental Restoration and the commencement of the Bodo-Bonny Road project.”
They expressed concern over what they described as “the unwholesome activities of groups unknown to the APC in Ogoni and Rivers State, especially as they utilize the name and insignia of the party to cause mischief and hoodwink unsuspecting Ogoni people.
These groups which only serve the self-serving aspiration of their sponsors and protagonists have the tendency to cause disunity in the APC in Rivers State and pose a grave threat to public peace.” “We advise the generality of Ogoni APC party faithful to be mindful of events fronted by these groups and their sponsors under the guise of the APC in Ogoniland.
These events should be shunned, with the boycott commencing from the event called by one of such groups and their sponsors planned for the police field in Bori.
They called on the party at the state and national levels to take immediate steps to stop the activities these groups and their sponsors, so as to assert party discipline. They noted that INEC had not lifted the lid on commencement of political campaigns in Rivers State.