Cutting relationship with Wike, Fubara’s best decision – Rivers APC chieftain

Cutting relationship with Wike, Fubara’s best decision – Rivers APC chieftain

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and ally of the former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi. In this interview with DENNIS NAKU, the former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party speaks on the dissolution of the APC Rivers executive by the party’s National Working Committee and the political crisis in Rivers State

What is your opinion about the dissolution of the APC executive in Rivers State by the party’s National Working Committee?

The dissolution is part of the ongoing efforts in a series to wane and totally demolish the political influence and legacies of Amaechi in Rivers State. The public should expect more in the coming months as the stage is set for the cabal to publicly display what has been strategically agreed upon behind closed doors.

In a statement, you said the dissolution was orchestrated by President Bola Tinubu and APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje to spite Rotimi Amaechi. Can you shed more light on that?

Yes. It was a grand ploy to demean Amaechi. It is a whole lot of conspiracy that doesn’t profit the Tinubu. Amaechi is not the problem of Nigeria. So I urge the President and his cabal to channel the energy they have deployed to execute their political scheme in Rivers, to curbing insecurity, ending hunger, solving the ever-rising and unbearable cost of living and its attendant frustration on Nigerians, and leaving Amaechi and his political family alone.

You said the plot is to hand over the state’s APC structure to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, but Wike is not a member of the APC.

Well, in a literal sense, one may say Wike is not a member of the APC and has not formally declared his membership of the party; and again, you know, an individual cannot hold the membership of two political organisations at the same time. So it is a fact, firmly established that the former Rivers governor has yet to denounce his membership of the PDP even though he has constituted himself into a clog in the party’s wheel of progress. But the reality is that despite not being a member of the APC, he has been made the sole usufructuary of all the human and material investments of members of the party in Rivers State who strove so hard to nurture and prune the party to its fruitful stage despite stiff opposition from Wike and his circle. Lives and limbs of party faithful were lost in pursuit of the cause to enthrone good governance in Rivers State through the APC. The resistance was crippling; state resources, public institutions and other government apparatuses were deployed against us. But we kept faith because ours is a cause for justice and we had the people on our side. But because our leader, Chibuike Amaechi is so hated by the cabal, we were denied the support needed to pull through. To demonstrate the hate, the national leadership of the party ordered the National Legal Adviser to withdraw the APC as a party to the petition of our governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. The court used the discontinuance of the APC as a springboard to deny us justice in our meritorious petition. That is an obvious conspiracy and the President is happy because he is part of the plan. All of this is because he sees Amaechi as a rival so empowering Wike will whittle down his political influence in Rivers State.

In advising the APC NWC to be wary about Wike, you described him as a political chameleon. Why do you say so?

Yes, I said so because that young man is inconsistent. He says one thing today and does a different thing tomorrow. He has fought everybody in the PDP – Ali Modu-Sheriff, Uche Secondus, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, and so on. He wants everyone to be his puppet and when you disagree he fights you. He said he can never settle for Vice Presidential candidate but we all saw how he went back and heavily lobbied for it after he lost to Atiku Abubakar. He said he can never be a Minister. He begged and lobbied and he got it. He announced at the PDP presidential primary ground, that he will support anyone that emerges. What happened at the end of the day? He said if God helps him and finishes his tenure, he has no business in the administration of the state. Today he is fighting to retain power for a third term.

What is your reaction to the APC caretaker committee in Rivers State headed by Chief Tony Okocha?

The scheme has been planned already and executed. The President is part of it. The target is Amaechi. Amaechi holds this country in high esteem and does not want to dine with people who do not mean well for Nigeria and Nigerians so he decided to distance himself. And because of that, they resolved to strip him of the party structure in the state. It’s fine. But the chief thing is that Nigeria should work for Nigerians.

On Chief Tony Okocha led CTC, Tony Okocha is fully aware that he is not a member of APC as he refused with others to revalidate their membership of the party, and up till now he is not a registered member of APC. So if we are not a funny group how can a non-member of the party be asked to lead a party he is not a member? The party structure in Rivers State has sued the party’s NWC in this regard and we are very expectant that very soon the Ganduje-led NWC will do the needful and dissolve the Okocha-led CTC accordingly

How do you mean Chief Tony Okocha is not a member of the APC when even before the election he was the South-South coordinator of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Vanguard?

Of course, Tony Okocha is not a member of the APC. It is needless to reemphasise that point because I have severally pointed out that fact and nothing were done about it. Go do your assessments. His name is not on the register of members. The system has lost principle to the point that anything goes. So that is where we are right now. At first, he was Senator Magnus Abe’s man. Later Wike engaged him as a political jobber and at some point, he made himself leader of APC Rivers even when he did not know where the party’s state office was located in Port Harcourt. It’s unfortunate.

Who is the leader of the APC in Rivers State?

Things have fallen apart in the party. Some persons from the party recently went to meet Wike to pledge their loyalty to him as their leader, although Wike is not a member of the APC. Politics in Nigeria has taken a new dimension that transcends human comprehension. The system has lost integrity; so distorted and uncoordinated. I don’t know whether to say the trend is part of the end time.

I know you would like me to relate my response to Amaechi. That’s just the direction of your question. The truth of the matter is that Amaechi is still a member of APC and in that case, he is the undisputed leader of APC in the South-South region. All the machinations against him will not stand.

I must use this opportunity to highlight that Amaechi is a very patriotic Nigerian and his thoughts and vision will remain on the possibility of a better Nigeria. So, let us exercise a little patience as Amaechi will soon address the nation.

As an ally of the former Minister of Transport, why has he been indifferent to state and national politics after losing the APC presidential primary to Bola Tinubu?

The former Minister has been preoccupied with studies at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja. He just finished his Bar Part ll Exams. So Nigerians will begin to hear from him from time to time. I know a lot of people are waiting for him for direction. Let’s keep faith.

What is your reaction to the bombing of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the ensuing political crisis in the state?

It is sad, unfortunate, and condemnable to bomb such a great edifice that puts the state better than most states’ Assembly in Nigeria. It is not acceptable at all. To me, there is no political crisis in Rivers State but a divine intervention to expose to the world the crude nature of the personality of Wike. The so-called crisis will soon be a thing of the past as Rivers State and her people have resolved to move ahead.

What will be your advice to the former Governor Wike and the incumbent to ending the crisis in the state?

I had once stated that the crisis between Wike and Governor Sim Fubara was a divine orchestration for the liberation of the state, her people, and particularly her resources from the firm grip of the latter. Severing from Wike was the best decision Fubara could have ever made to succeed as Governor.

How will you assess Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s administration since he assumed power in the last six months?

I have not seen Governor Siminialayi Fubara’s blueprint for Rivers State. I mean his policies and programmes for the basic sectors that drive the socio-economic life of the state and her people. But on a fair scale, I commend him for the bold steps he is taking to revive the projects initiated by former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, which were left to rot under the administration of Nyesom Wike. His bold initiatives are pointers to the fact that he understands the yearnings of Rivers’ people. For instance, the Songhai farm had over 1,000 Rivers youths under its employ before it was shut down by Wike.

The governor should also consider opening for public use the following facilities – Mile One Market – commissioned on September 18, 2019; the multi-billion Naira Mother and Child Hospital – commissioned on June 7, 2021; Dr Peter Odili Cancer Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Treatment Centre (CCDT), built with over N26 bn and commissioned around November 2022 and; the Cassava Processing Plant In Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.

All of those projects that gulped approximately N100 bn remained sealed all through the administration of Wike, despite the pageantry and heavy media show that accompanied their inauguration. Little did the public know that the facilities needed for their off-takes were nowhere in sight. But billions have been expended. That is the magic of Mr Project.

Governor Fubara should also consider reviving and completing the abandoned monorail project. Modern cities ride on monorail so the project is part of a massive revolutionary scheme to bring Port Harcourt to the status of a world-class city.

That project was started by Amaechi and reached an advanced stage of completion before his administration ended. Wike never looked the way of the project. But as FCT Minister, he has suddenly grown to love metro rail so much so that he had to seek the nod of President Tinubu to get the project completed before the President’s 100 days in office celebration. That’s sycophancy, needless eye service, and nothing more.

Wike in a recent live media interview accused Governor Fubara of bringing ethnicity into Rivers politics. What is your take on that?

That fabrication is a social artifice contrived and bandied by Wike as a ploy to win public sympathy and incite one ethnic group against the other. But unfortunately for him, Rivers people across ethnic lines are united with the governor.

On this note, I sincerely commend the Ikwerre people of Rivers State for standing with the governor and I call on those who seem to be falling prey to the ploy to incite ethnic rivalry in the state to be wary of being inveigled in a situation in which they find themselves becoming agents of wrongdoers and enemies of state. I have read a series of long epistles drafted by half-witted historians against the Ikwerre people in the wake of the political crisis in the state. And I must say such endeavour is unfair and unnecessary. People must not judge the Ikwerre people by the standard of Wike’s avaricious, hostile tendencies.

Remember, former Governor Amaechi has been at the forefront of the struggle for equitable distribution of power in the state since 2015. Some of those who today are drafting vexatious media publications on how Ikwerre people have held power since 2007 were solidly behind Wike in 2015 and 2019 when Amaechi was fighting for the Ijaws to get the Governorship. Ikwerre people fought for the riverine to get power in 2015 and 2019 through Amaechi but were resisted by the same people for whom they were fighting. So that narrative should be discountenanced forthwith. As of today, Ikwerre people are with Sim, fighting for a good cause and that is good spirit. So nobody should bring ethnic sentiment to what’s happening in Rivers State.

Wike had alleged that he was instrumental in Amaechi’s emergence as Governor of Rivers State. Is he right?

Excuse me; that assertion is a bogus tongue-in-cheek taradiddle and obvious fabrication; a childish fib, to say the least.

You should have asked him in what capacity he contributed to making Amaechi Governor. Amaechi won the party’s governorship primaries but was unjustly denied the ticket. He challenged the injustice and the Supreme Court found merit in his Appeal and declared him Governor. Where does Wike come in here? Please trash that pretentious nonsense.

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