Embattled governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi has finally opened up on his frustrations in the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC against the backdrop of the party’s recently concluded national convention held in Abuja.
Before now, other APC leaders had made similar complaints against the conduct of the convention and its outcome which they said fell short of ordinary democratic norms.
According to an online publication, thenigeriangazette.com, the Rivers state governor said he was roundly betrayed by former Lagos state governor and leader of the opposition party, Senator Bola Tinubu
alongside former military Head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) in his quest to become an elected national officer of the APC.
Amaechi in the report, said: “let it be known, that I didn’t just join the APC, I was wooed by the legacy parties and four other PDP governors then. Naturally, in every bargain, interests must be spelt out.
“Of course they did promise me the vice presidential ticket in the forthcoming election with a condition to sell the party and make President Jonathan unpopular. The initial arrangement was to pair me with Hon. Tambuwal (Speaker of House of Representatives).
“But when other entrants like Atiku and others entered the party, everything changed. It was Gov. Nyako that opened up to me on the recent changes, and pleaded with me to take the position of the National Chairman of party, that it will be zoned to the South-South.
And I grudgingly accepted. Now, in every political convention, consensus building is needed to harmonize all interests.
“So I initiated a platform for the 16 APC governors to talk in Port-Harcourt last week. And in that meeting, the 13 governors and their deputies that were in attendance reassured me that I will be given the national chairmanship slot.
“But when I asked Gov. Adams to ask Chief Ikimi and John Oyegun to step down for my candidate, Adam’s quietly told me “My brother, I know the bad name they have called you in the South-South and Rivers in
particular. Again, I sympathize with you because I know how much you have put in APC, this Yoruba and Hausa people can’t be trusted, they said you couldn’t build the APC in Rivers State and that only 95,633 out of the 1.3 million membership you claimed have passport photographs. That everything was doctored by you”.
The embattled governor said that he found it very disappointing, adding: “we no longer have men of trust, and integrity; men whose words should be their bond in politics. So last night, I made my position clear, that if the other candidates didn’t step down for Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, then there was no point picking the expression of interest form. I feel deeply betrayed.”
Amaechi’s position followed same line as those of Chief Tom Ikimi, Ali Modu Sheriff(former Borno state governor) and others all of whom expressed disappointment with the outcome of the convention which was skewed in favour of Bola Tinubu’s nominees.
Former minister of foreign affairs and initial chairmanship contender at the convention, Chief Tom Ikimi, did not mince words in declaring his grievance. In a statement he issued days after the event, he said:
“I am compelled to make this statement at this time so as to clarify some issues pertaining to my person as it relates to the APC generally and the recent APC National Convention in particular. I want to correct some
information deliberately distorted and misconstrued to the public through deliberate falsehood orchestrated by a section of the press, particularly The Nation Newspaper.
Finally, I want to explain to all our members and sympathizers nationwide the reason for my boycott of the convention.
“All that transpired thereafter leading to the convention happened mostly in secret meetings and caucuses, some of which I have since become aware were convened in Europe. The Party was now run as a private property.
Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu operated as the core of one of these caucuses whose
membership varied from time to time within the realms of his whims and caprices. The other known caucus was the APC Governor’s forum. These two groups hijacked power from the National Interim Executive Council, which is the body known to INEC.”
Ikimi narrated all the processes that led to the convening of the convention and how Tinubu alongside Buhari picked candidates for the national offices of the party concluding that the former Lagos governor is a tyrant.
In the same vein, immediate past national vice president of APC and dumped national secretaryship aspirant of the party, Dr. Umar Duhu in a statement, protested the conduct of the party’s national convention last weekend in Abuja and how his association with former Borno state
governor, Ali Modu Sheriff worked against his ambition.
He said in statement that, “I was the only candidate standing and cleared by the screening committee; but Bitrus Lawal’s name was smuggled in by Buhari. Buhari and Tinubu witch-hunted me, not because I am not capable, they said because of my close association with Sen. (Dr.) Ali Modu Sheriff. What wrong has Sen. Sheriff done to Buhari after he assisted Buhari severally in the ANPP days to secure the presidential ticket?”