Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt
AHEAD of the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State, the Minister of Transportation and the leader of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted that he will not support the governorship ambition of the lawmaker representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe.
The minister spoke on Saturday during a meeting with the Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders’ Forum.
“There is no fight in the APC. I am not in any way stopping Abe from running for the governorship (position), but what I know is that I will not support him. Abe is daring me; an Ikwerre son. He is abusing me every day. I will ensure I use Ikwerre vote on him,” he said.
He added that his Ikwerre ethnic group had 1.1 million votes out of the 2.5 million eligible voters in the state.
Amaechi maintained that the position of the governor in the state was rotational among the various ethnic groups, saying that it would amount to greed should Ikwerre hold on to power for more than 12 years.
The former governor said he would support a person from the riverine area to occupy the position of the governor for eight years before power would move to Ogoni.
“At the moment, we have not chosen a candidate. Only God will decide who will become the next governor,” Amaechi stressed.
The Chairman of IACEF, Chief Sunny Dikeh, promised to support Amaechi to ensure that the APC regained power in the state.
Dikeh, who called on Amaechi to forgive those who betrayed him, said, “We are aware sir that some Ikwerre sons and daughters have betrayed you after assisting them to attain heights that ordinarily they would not have attained. We are here to say sorry and also apologise on their behalf.”
Meanwhile, Abe has said the people of the state reserve the right to determine who their leaders will be, stressing that the state must come first.
Abe spoke on Saturday during a victory thanksgiving/reception by the federal and state lawmakers elected on the platform of the APC in Rivers State.
The APC legislators include Abe, as well as the members representing Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo, Khana/Gokana and Emohua/Ikwerre federal constituencies in the House of Representatives, Barry Mpigi, Maurice Pronen and Chidi Wihioka, respectively.
Others are the members representing Eleme, Khana II and Tai constituencies in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Josiah Olu; Friday Nkeeh and Mathew Dike, respectively.
The senator said, “Now is the time to put the interest of the state ahead of anything else. We must work together so that the people can benefit from the politics we play.”