By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has dismissed reports of a political feud between its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the Director General of its Presidential Campaign Council, Rotimi Amaechi on the position of the party in the controversial governorship election in Rivers state.
While Amaechi who is also the Minister of Transportation had influenced a large section of the party in Rivers to adopt candidates of the African Action Congress AAC owing to the disqualification of the APC by the courts from fielding candidates, Oshiomhole had at the weekend reportedly distanced the party hierarchy from such arrangement.
However, in a statement Monday evening in Abuja, the party through its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said there has been a futile attempt by some partisans to twist Oshiomhole’s comments on the issue.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to some reports in the media purporting a disagreement between the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi over the alignment of the Rivers State APC with the governorship
candidate of the African Action Congress AAC, Awara Biokpomabo.
“It is regrettable that the APC National Chairman’s statement is being twisted to suit a jaundiced narrative. This narrative is at best, mischievous, pedestrian and should be disregarded. The APC Chairman’s statement is unambiguous as to the effect that the APC’s National Working Committee NWC does not have any formal alliance with AAC. This is without prejudice to any local arrangement that may exist.
“Both Oshiomhole and Amaechi are above the petty insinuations being orchestrated by a section of the Media. Like many leaders of the party, APC National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole and the Minister of Transport, Hon. Amaechi enjoy cordial relationship and do share mutual respect; therefore, deliberate misinterpretation of issues and statements from the party or between the two of them would continue to fail”, he added.
Amaechi had in the lead up to the elections said the APC will throw its weight behind Awara Biokpomabo, governorship candidate of the AAC in the state.
“This morning, the leadership of the party met and agreed that we would work with a party called African Action Congress AAC, while we are still in court to reclaim our mandate,” he had said.
Last week, Issa-Onilu also disclaimed insinuations that Amaechi was involved in anti-party activities, absolving the minister of any wrongdoing.
“I will emphatically say no because if you liken it to the situation in Imo and or Ogun states, it will be wrong. In Rivers state, APC does not have any candidate and as a party, Rivers state is very important to us. The state has been in the hands of pillagers for too long.
“If we have the opportunity of working with a party willing to abide by our principles, then it is within our right to work with such a party to ensure we free the people of Rivers state from the locusts”, Issa-Onilu had stated.
However, speaking on a Channels Television programme Friday in Abuja, Oshiomhole said the party leadership was not aware of the arrangement between the APC and AAC in Rivers state.
He said: “I have never spoken at any forum that we have aligned with any party. There is only one party (I oversee) and that is APC, if there is going to be alignment, I will know.
“I can’t choose to be in the know. That has never been discussed with me or with any of the members of the national working committee.”