THE National Protocol Director of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Chief Tony Okocha, has alleged that the immediate-past Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, voted for the presidential candidate of the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the just-concluded presidential election.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Sunday, Okocha declared that Amaechi, who is a former Rivers State governor, was no longer the leader of APC in the State.
He said he had mobilised and galvanized support in the state for the APC presidential candidate, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, now President-elect and that the party won fair and square in Rivers State with the huge support it received from Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
The APC chieftain stated that the action of Amaechi was the height of anti-party activity as the former governor had long abandoned the party, saying he was now the leader of the APC in Rivers State.
Okocha said: “It is clear cut and certain that our former leader, Rt Hon. Rotimi Amaechi became the leader of the party on grounds of him being a serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“A day to the presidential election, he ordered his supporters to go and vote for the presidential candidate of the PDP. And himself, we have it on record that he voted for the candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
“That naturally disqualifies him as leader and that I, Chief Tony Okocha, who won election with my own faction for our presidential candidate is now the leader of APC in Rivers State.”
Asked if the development will not deepen the crisis within the party, the APC chieftain said there was no crisis, but added that some outsiders were making incursions into the party.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity as the leader of APC to advise my brothers who are members of my party that Rivers State must not be set ablaze because of election.
“Power is transient. So Rivers State must not be put into flames. Everybody should be seen to be anti-violence.
“We hear that there are outside incursions intending to infiltrate the good people of APC in Rivers State to cause mayhem in Rivers State. My advice is that we should not buy into that.
“Violence is violence. Nobody knows where and who will be affected. So let us face our elections on March 11. Again viewing the environment that we are in, we must be pragmatic and proactive.”
He also reiterated that the party will reciprocate the gesture it received from Governor Wike in the March 11 Governorship and State House of Assembly polls.
But, in a swift reaction, the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Darlingron Nwauju, said Okocha was no longer a member of the APC.
Nwauju said: “Is Tony Okocha an APC member? He is merely a member of an independent campaign outfit for Tinubu but not an APC member.
“Please ask him to mention the names of just five out of the 27 Exco members of APC in his ward. Tony is a confli-preneur and has a history of transactional politics.
“Are you not aware that the campaign outfit which he belongs to here in Rivers State is torn apart because of money allegedly donated to them by the Governor of Rivers State?
“Has he been able to account for all the monies passed through him? Even the PCC/ICC he belongs to is in disagreement with him.
“And he has not been able to assert himself on them. Please, remind Tony Okocha that when the pillars of APC in Nigeria will sit down to talk, he won’t be there.”
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