A leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha, has said President Bola Tinubu has no reason or justification to give the state’s ministerial slot to either former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, or Senator Magnus Abe, stressing that both men undermined his election in Rivers State.
Rather, Okocha asked Tinubu to pick the immediate-past Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, as minister from the state.
According to him, Wike supported Tinubu’s presidential ambition both financially and materially.
Okocha, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, alleged that it was an open secret that Amaechi worked for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, while Abe, who obtained the governorship ticket of the Social Democratic Party, supported the SDP flag bearer.
Okocha, who was the Chief of Staff to Amaechi when he was the Rivers State governor, said, ‘’The point I’m making is neither Amaechi and his group nor Magnum Abe and his group worked for Tinubu. What helped us in Rivers State is the stupidity of the PDP, we all know. At the centre of that is the spin doctor, Nyesom Wike, governor of my state.
“Since the inception of the PDP in 1998, Rivers State has been a haven for the PDP. It has won elections back to back. Even when we were in government, PDP still defeated us (in Rivers).
“Wike gave instructions to his PDP family because they had no candidate to vote for. (He said) ‘Work with APC,’ and it was me they were coming to work with because I was the arrowhead (of the APC).
‘‘Abe had left, Amaechi had left. I’m bold to say that Wike took care of the election bills. He was the one that paid the piper. Without Wike’s huge support, material and financial, (Peter) Obi could have swept River State.
“Even to localise Wike to Rivers State, you are short-cutting and short-circuiting his influence. If the G-5 governors were intact with the PDP, PDP would have won.’’
On why Tinubu should reward Wike with a ministerial appointment, Okocha said, “If Wike, who was in the PDP, could support the APC to win, why is it that the APC, having won, cannot also recompense the man who helped us to win?”
But when contacted, the Publicity Secretary of the Rivers APC, Darlington Nwauju, who is loyal to Amaechi, knocked Okocha, saying he had no locus to speak for the Rivers APC.
“He is not our member. Please cross-check with records of membership domiciled with both the national secretariat and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“So, whatever opinions or ideas he canvasses to the media makes no meaning to everybody in APC in Nigeria and amounts to tales by moonlight.
“Nigerians know who the leader of APC in Rivers State is, coupled with the fact that the APC structure is intact and unshaken. Whosoever is running commentaries in the name of APC in Rivers State is a meddlesome interloper and an uninvited tombo fly!”
On his part, Chief Kadilo Kabari, an ally to Abe, expressed worry over the comments credited to Okocha.
Kabari described Okocha as a “serial betrayer, conflict entrepreneur and shameless apologist of Wike,” saying he was carrying out a campaign of calumny against Abe.