While the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC, handed an indefinite suspension on Chief Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for supporting the governorship candidate of another party, it has not applied the same sanction on Rotimi Amaechi for doing something similar in Rivers State.
APC, however, justifies its action, saying the issues of the two officials, though similar, are different.
In Imo, Okorocha backed Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance against Hope Uzodinma of APC. Both candidates, however, lost to Emeka Ihedioha of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In Rivers State, the Supreme Court barred the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting candidates from APC because of internal wrangling between two factions of the party.
One APC faction in Rivers is loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Amaechi, and another loyal to Magnus Abe, a senator.
While APC headquarters in Abuja recognised Amaechi’s faction, Abe appealed the decision in court, which eventually led to the Supreme Court decision.
When the APC realised its legal challenge to its disqualification by INEC had reached a dead end, Amaechi urged party loyalists in Rivers to vote for the candidate of African Action Congress, AAC, Biokpomabo Awara.
Speaking on its decision not to suspend Amaechi, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the minister had not engaged in any anti-party activities.
He disclosed this, Wednesday, at an interactive session with reporters in Abuja.
“Though the APC does not have governorship candidate in Rivers, the people of the state were very important to the party. Whatever has happened in Rivers, and whatever Amaechi has done, is completely normal and acceptable to this party.
“If we have the opportunity of working with a party that will abide by our principles, it is within our right to work with such a party to ensure that we free the people of Rivers from hardship.”