The senator representing Rivers East senatorial district, Magnus Abe, has alleged that the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, threatened him in his own house, ordering me not to even think about contesting for governor, saying that if I try it, this and that will be the consequence.
Mr. Abe said this on Thursday while speaking on Arise News, accusing Amaechi of trying to play god in the way he imposed Mr. Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state.
He rejected the claim that Amaechi came to his house to plead with him to drop his gubernatorial ambition and accept a senatorial ticket, saying it was a lie.
“As at the time the minister came to my house, nobody was running for governorship. So, the issue of him offering me a senatorial seat did not even arise and it was never discussed.
“The minister did come to my house, but what he did was to order me not to even think about it, saying that if I try it, this and that will be the consequence. So it is not true that the minister came to my house to plead with me.
“The day he came to house, we were together all day. But he said he came to my house because he wanted to warn me and to let my wife be aware that I should not try to run for governor. I thought that was not right or necessary,” Abe said.
However, Mr. Abe believes that if his party overcomes this struggle internally, the party wuld come out stronger.
He stated, “At the core of the challenges in the APC Rivers state is that people actually want alternative they know will work.
“The legal and moral foundation on which the Cole candidate is based is faulty. And if leaders of the party like us keep quiet, and allow the party to proceed in a manner that at the end of the day will leave the party totally shortchanged in every aspect, then we are not working for the party.
“So, people must be able to speak up and must be able to stand for what will help the APC in Rivers State. People have suffered so much in the state for us to leave them with no option.”
According to him, the refusal of some party leaders to allow due process and internal democracy is the reason over 16,000 members who were denied their rights headed for the court to fight the process.
“Over 16,000 members of the party who were denied opportunity to participate in the party’s primary process headed to the courts to enforce their rights. That was the beginning of the crisis. This was still lingering when the primary took place.
“Following this, the national chairman decided that Rivers State was one of the states where direct primaries must take place because of issues arising out of the exclusion of these people.
“Those of us who are lawyers know that you cannot put nothing on something and expect it to stand. But just as they feared, the High Court dismissed the entire exercise that produced Mr. Cole. The Court of Appeal has also affirmed the decision of the lower court,” Abe said.
On the allegation that he had insisted that the party should field him or nobody else, the senator added, “I have never said that. I’m a loyal party man, but at the same time, the party belongs to all of us and we cannot stand by and allow the party to crash.”