Immediate past Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe, has described as unacceptable, the announcement by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on the conduct of congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
Amaechi had reportedly announced to his supporters shortly after his inauguration in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari that there would be congress in the state without cognizance to the existing judicial pronouncements on subject matter and the need for consultation as it affects the interest of other party members.
Abe spoke at the weekend when members of the APC Visionary Media Team paid him a courtesy visit at his residence in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
He noted that the Minister of Transportation rather than concentrate on achieving the needed contribution to national development is creating another avenue for tension and crisis in the political structure of the party, demonstrating the same unruly behavior that brought the party in Rivers State to a fiasco.
Abe urged the minister to demonstrate his sincerity in rebuilding the party by consulting others and showing respect for the rights and feelings of all members of the party.
The senator, an advocate of internal democracy, and justice, within the party, appealed to members to be resolute and committed to the growth of the party in the state.
He assured the group that even if he is out of office, he is still a politician that is committed to the development of the party, insisting that what is needed is peace, inclusiveness, progress and the commitment of all members to move the party forward.
Abe further said: “Look at the state of our party here today in Rivers State, yet the Minister of Transportation, on assumption of office as Minister of Transportation, the first thing he did was to announce Congresses in Rivers State and I ask myself, this was the same kind of behaviour that led the party to where it is.
“Everybody in Nigeria knows that the origin of the crisis in Rivers APC was from the Congress and how the Congress was handled and there are extant Judicial pronouncements on the last Congress which the party was misled to ignore and we have all kept quiet in the hope that by keeping quiet we will create room for resolution of some of these challenges so the party can move forward.
Instead, you become more brazen in your challenge to the rights, feelings and interest of others within the same political party. How do we do that and expect to make progress?
What kind of Congress, is he the Chairman of the party? Is he the National Working Committee? Is he the Court? What gives him the power to come and announce Congress on the day he was inaugurated as Minister?
Rather than address the issues of the country and the issues of his Ministry, the first thing he could do was to reopen the sourest point in the heart of members of the party. And it is on that basis that party members are deprived of all rights and benefits in the party we all suffered to build. Is that how to grow a political family? Is that how to grow politics? We will not accept that congress.
Sometimes we keep quiet out of respect for the party and out of understanding, but we all know that without justice there can be no peace and without peace, there can be no progress.
We must all recommit ourselves to the need for peace in the party and the way forward to get peace in the party is by ensuring that there is justice, fairness in the party so that everybody can feel free to work together and gather support for the party.
We must try as much as possible to be instruments of peace, unity, and progress within the APC.
Minister, cannot sit in his office and make pronouncement on a matter in which he and several other people have interest, people have gone to court, people have fought for their rights in that congress and the same thing that he did before, by creating confusion in the first place, he is determined to continue to do it because he wants to prove to the world that he is a conqueror. As I said before, nobody can conquer Rivers people.
If you want the support of Rivers people ask for it, work for it and you will get it. Nobody is against anybody. We all left our homes to serve, improve our society and improve ourselves and to do that we need to work with other people.
If we work with others and respect the views and sensibilities of others, it will help in creating an avenue for this party to move forward.
Any other way by force or by fire is nothing but a pathway to self-immolation for the APC in Rivers State and we will not allow anybody to set the party on fire and destroy it.
I appreciate you all for coming to pay this visit on me this morning and to also say as I have said repeatedly, that I remain a committed member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). I am out of office but not out of politics.
Every politician cannot hold office at the same time. So, I really wish to restate that though am out of office. In or out of office, my commitment to our party, my commitment to the development, progress, peace, and prosperity of our country remains unchangeable and whatever position I find myself I will continue to pursue those ideas”, Abe added.
Speaking earlier, Robertson Jack, Director General of Rivers APC Visionary Media Team said the visit was necessitated by the need to pledge their unalloyed support to Senator Abe’s peaceful disposition in the pursuit of internal democracy, inclusiveness, justice, and equity in Rivers APC and assured that the group will play its role to ensure that the party succeeds in the next level.