Port Harcourt — The crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is deepening by the day with the senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, accusing the Minister of Transportation and former Governor of the state, Chibuike Amaechi, of being responsible for the party's woes.
Abe has also vowed that despite the "needless provocation and unwarranted bitterness" against him, he would not leave the APC for another political party.
Abe, in a statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt by his spokesperson, Parry Benson, said every member of the party knew the actual cause of the crisis rocking the party in the state.
He traced the current crisis rocking the APC in the State to the March 4, 2017 meeting convened by Amaechi in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The senator, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA, alleged that during the March 4, 2017 meeting, which attracted prominent leaders of the party in the state, Amaechi made certain pronouncements that led to the current crisis in the state.
He said: "We all can recall that the Rivers APC was in relative peace and harmony until March 4 this year, when the Hon. Minister of Transportation and our former governor called a meeting of all leaders of our great party at the Dome on Odili Road in Port Harcourt. In that meeting, the minister made several shocking pronouncements that herald the root of our present crisis.
"The Hon Minister of Transportation publicly declared that Senator Magnus Abe and Dr. Dakuku Peterside were both running for governor, and that he had ordered both of them to stop. He said Dr. Dakuku Peterside had stopped and Senator Abe had not, and that anyone supporting Senator Abe should leave the party immediately. He went on to name party leaders sympathetic to Abe and declared that they must leave the party.
"The Minister of Transportation declared at that meeting that anyone who failed to show absolute loyalty to him personally should receive no benefit or recognition from the party whatsoever, including contracts and patronage.
"He also declared that any party officer who associates with Abe or those relating with him should consider themselves out of office and out of the party. He concluded that if the party stakeholders refused to heed to his decree, he would destroy the party and rebuild it in his own image".
He emphasised: "It was after that meeting that the minister started to openly remove those he perceived as friends of Abe as leaders of LGA caucuses in an embarrassing fashion. Ever since then, every action within the party has been calculated to implode the party and cause untold bitterness amongst party members in the state in order to enforce those directives."
"We cannot stop Wike from playing his own politics as an opposition governor but what is important for us in the APC and for the federal government led by President Buhari is to continue to vigorously pursue our commitment not just to the clean-up of Ogoni land and the Niger Delta, but to keep faith with our country men that in our time there will be justice for all, no matter the cost."
Insisting that he would not leave the APC, Abe said, "When it was time to battle Wike, who were those in the forefront? And who are those talking now? When the time will come to confront the governor who are the members of the APC that will not just stand, but stand out? When we wrestled with the Jonathan government who were those in the forefront?
"I will not leave the APC even in the face of needless provocation and unwarranted bitterness. As I told the state Chairman of the party last Sunday, every member of the party knows the cause and the reason for the present crisis in the APC in Rivers State and I will also state it here."