… Stake claims in the open as Amaechi’s men awake to new realities
A squabble which may be difficult to control has developed within the ranks of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State.
Two different State Executive Committees are currently parading in public.
Chief Emeka Beke and Golden Ben-Chioma, representing different arms of the party are contending for recognition.
Golden Ben – Chioma, one of the claimants to the throne
Beke belongs to the wing led by the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
He purportedly polled a little bit above a thousand votes after delegates voted at the Polo Club used as the venue of one of the State Congresses which held at the weekend.
Golden Ben-Chioma, an associate of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe is equally parading as State Party chairman.
Both sides have developed a long list of officials who are purportedly elected from one-sided state congresses held at the weekend.
The possibility of such an unwanted scenario playing out in the Rivers APC has always existed.
But a letter from the National Secretariat asking quarrelsome parties in Rivers State to harmonize positions which were up for grabs left a window of hope.
Expectations that something pleasant could out of the APC family through painstaking negotiations were dashed.
There is war and the fighters, particularly on the side of the Abe camp are digging in.
It is difficult to say how soon the war would end or if the combatants would accept positions that may be taken by external mediators.
Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation
As part of the template, an appeals committee set up by the party would look at the complaints raised by angry members. Thereafter, a decision would be taken by APC’s National Secretariat on what to do next.
All of a sudden, the APC in Rivers State appears to have returned where it was in the 2018/2019 era as the bad blood which has become part of its hallmark flows like a stream.
Will APC’s new spokespersons weather the storm? Can they halt the advance of Abe and his team?
Rivers people are watching as the Minister of Transportation is dragged into the open and forced to take centre stage to explain issues.
Rotimi Amaechi spoke of a volte face by the Abe camp when he addressed the press. That is something he didn’t have to do in months.
Amaechi wondered why Abe and his people would be asking for the spoils to be shared instead of advancing the cause of internal democracy through contest.
In the meantime, claims that are emanating from Freedom House, which houses Senator Abe’s war machine, are gradually re-enforcing the feeling among ordinary citizens that the centre in the APC can no longer hold.
Sources close to Freedom House are insisting that a parellel congress actually took place in Rivers.
But Abe’s men are keeping the venue where its State congress allegedly took place a guarded secret.
Ben-Chioma refused to tell the Telegraph when it asked, citing security concerns as the reason why the venue of the parellel state Congress is being kept under wraps.
Abe’s supporters are however saying Barrister Golden Ben-Chioma, a former member of the House of Assembly was returned by delegates as the State Chairman of the party.
Tuesday, the group inaugurated its team with Mike Amachree as Deputy and Inye Jack as Secretary.
Following the conclusion of the exercise by the Amaechi faction at the Polo Club on Saturday, Beke who is assuring party members that he would unite them remarked, “I thank the delegates for reposing confidence in me.
Abe, Amaechi.. Their struggle may eclipse the APC
“With the massive votes that I got,
I will ensure that I work towards the unity and victory for the party in 2023.
“For my brothers that contested with me, there is no victor, no vanquished; they will all be involved in the party activities.”
Golden Ben-Chioma, who spoke to the Port Harcourt Telegraph Sunday and again on Monday revealed that he was duly elected by a parellel congress.
He however did not disclose if INEC staff as well as officials of the APC despatched from the National Secretariat were on ground to monitor the conduct of the exercise.
Ben-Chioma told the media Tuesday that he and his associates would continue to unveil their programmers for the party.
He said Governor Nyesom Wike ought to prepare his handover note, saying that an APC that is obviously saddled with internal conflict would win the next election in Rivers State.
For now, a press war which will make or mar the fortune of the APC is about to begin. Who will win the war in the press?
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