By Davies Iheamnachor
Sir Hon. Lucky Worluh is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State and Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Rivers State, calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to make peace between Leader of the party in Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi (the Minister of Transportation) and Sen. Magnus Abe.
To you, what is the origin of the crisis in Rivers APC?
Sincerely speaking, there is no problem in Rivers APC, what we have is somebody who is used to being in position thinking that others should not be given opportunities to handle positions.
This whole thing started in the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari when the president was sick and at a time flown abroad. A lot of stories came up, like the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, who told the whole world that President Buhari was on life support, that he had evidence. That singular thought by Fayose and others was the impetus of what is happening in Rivers APC till date.
For them, it was a thought that this kind of thing had happened during President Yar Adua. He fell sick, was taken abroad and he never returned. When he (Yar’ Adua) was abroad people like Dora Akunyili played same track some people took after to do in Rivers State since it paid off for her. When President Goodluck Jonathan took over she got an appointment. So, those from Rivers State who felt President Buhari wasn’t going to return took the same road hoping it was going to pay them at last but were disappointed.
What happened was that politician in Rivers State who thinks that they are smart saw that Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Ahmed Tinubu, President Buhari and others were strong persons behind APC, and Amaechi happens to be the leader of the party in South-South because of his contribution and participation, and they needed to displace him. They wanted to be the leader of the party when a new government comes in place, believing that President Buhari will not come back alive. They knew they cannot remove him (Amaechi) from the recognition of Buhari and from the APC leadership in the county. They needed to take over the state and the region. So, they aspired as an alternative leadership. history is important to put across. Senator Magnus Abe, who is a smart politician, felt it was the best time to offer himself as an alternate leader of the party in Rivers State. They were the same set of people supporting Sakari to fight Buhari.
Abe’s thanksgiving in Rivers State was also used as a political realignment ground for them.
When the time to bring Adams Oshiomhole as the Chairman of our party came, Abe also played eye service role hoping he will be made the leader of the party in the state.
Are you trying to say that the crisis in Rivers APC is as a result of the moves by Abe to take over the leadership of the party in the state?
Yes, that is the truth. That is the reason behind all this fight. Again Amaechi said in one of our meetings in Abuja. He said that he is thinking of throwing up some new leaders in the party because some persons have tried and it would be an opportunity to give the younger generation opportunity to serve, immediately he said that some that have benefited with top positions, was eight years commissioners in Amaechi’s administration and were also planning to also destroy him (Amaechi) saw the opportunity to fight Amaechi for planning to give the younger one’s opportunity. They had many evil plans against Amaechi. I could remember a day at the airport as at the period President Buhari was away due to ill health, a leader of the party met us and said we should pray hard that Buhari should be alive, that if anything happens to him (Buhari) that Amaechi will go to jail, that they have concluded the plans. By the grace of God Buhari is alive today, strong and hearty. The evil plans of those who wished him dead were shattered and failed.
Does it appear Abe is arm twisting Amaechi in the crisis?
What Abe and his supporters are doing in APC is to remain in the party and sink it. Amaechi has given us purposeful leadership. He has shown us, love. What they have succeeded in doing is enabling PDP won the state. What they did was to hold APC for PDP to win. We will remain with APC. I want to see peace return to APC. I want us to come together and build the party, without deceit. I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call Amaechi and Abe together and make peace between them.
It appears that what happened to APC in 2019, may happen again in 2023?
No, it will not happen. What happened in 2019 was for Nigerian history to be complete. What happened in 2019 was simply that Abe made himself the arrowhead of their systematic plan to undermine Amaechi. This is the first time I am seeing that people who are not from this region were working to see that a certain leader did not win in his state so that they will use it as a political point. As it stands, Abe and others need to apologize to Rivers people because of the quality of the representatives we have today at the national assembly as a result of his actions. When a case is against Governor Nyesom Wike, the court will begin to delay it. Like the case of the 22 local government chairmen in Rivers with the state government. That case has been at the Supreme Court for over five years now. What they did in 2019 was planned and they want to start the same thing ahead of 2023, but this second one will not work. They will definitely fail this time because there is enough time for us to handle the matter. We are ready to play politics with them. Why will somebody take the national executive of the party to court and he will not be suspended?
As an APC chieftain, who is this Ibrahim Umah that has always taken your party to court?
I have not heard about these people in the party. I don’t think they exist. I have not heard about them before. This brings to question the duties of the Department for State Security, DSS. It is the duty of DSS to do a report to President, Governor or the Local Government Chairman on any issue. I don’t think this Ibrahim Umah exists as a member of the APC. The DSS needs to investigate this. People can forge names and take this to court because the court has no means to investigate these people. The name does not sound Rivers. And it appears the Supreme Court gave judgment to a name that does not exist.
After the voided congresses of the party, it took the APC a long time to constitute the caretaker committee, why did this happen?
The only sin Amaechi committed is that he provided himself as the person that fought for the enthronement of President Muhammadu Buhari. I think that sin is still hunting Amaechi. There are lots of persons that are with the president today, wining and dining with him but earlier they never believed in him (Buhari) and they are the ones keeping Sen. Abe and others in the struggle. Buhari is a man who believes in discipline. Are they also saying Amaechi does not have the right to say who flies the party’s flag? Some leaders who are not from this region just want to hijack the structure of the party. Abe is still in APC because there are forces in the party and in other parties who want to destroy Amaechi. They are working closely now to bring in a PDP governor into the party so that they will work together and displace Amaechi. Abe made us not to have candidates and he is moving freely in the party. Why are they afraid of congress, they should buy their form and come out for the contest. The courts in Rivers State seems compromised.
The party announced congresses and Abe has gone to court again to stop it, comment?
I don’t believe in just expelling people from the party without caution. The evil has been done, Rivers people lost. There is a need for urgent and sincere reconciliation in the party. For there to be reconciliation, there must be recognition of the leadership of the party. I don’t think Abe’s interest is on reconciliation. He has a programme with other people within and outside the party. What happened at Zamfara State is exactly what is happening here. He may not accept any genuine reconciliation because he has a target. Those who said they’re with Abe, fighting Amaechi are even the ones occupying a front seat in every PDP program in the state.
What is your advice to the party on how to handle the crisis this time?
Let the process be allowed to go on. The matter is not hidden to the parties involved. NJC should wake up. What is happening in Rivers State is affecting the country. The CJN should declare emergency in the courts in Rivers State because things are going wrong. I am advising Amaechi as a leader to forgive them. To err is human, but to forgive is divine. I also advise Magnus Abe to be careful because some of those people pushing him want him to fail. The younger generation and all of us are saying the fight is enough.