By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers and founder Unity House Foundation, Kingsley Wenenda Wali, has predicted that the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party will not end until the key actors are ready to put their egos in check.
He said inability of two key players in the crisis – Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation and the former governor of the State, and Senator Magnus Abe, who was former Secretary to the State Government under Amaechi’s administration were responsible for the festering crisis in Rivers APC.
Wali, who made the assertion during an interaction with members of the new Executive of Correspondents’ Chapel of the Rivers branch of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, led by Amaechi Okonkwo, in Port Harcourt, regretted that the APC in Rivers has lost so much into the crisis and members of party are tired of the endless fights and bickering.
“We that are their friends and followers are losing so much to the fight. For instance, I have known Amaechi since 1969 and since then, we are like brothers, while Magnus was my roommate in School. I cannot abandon any of them as my friends because of the political fight between the two. But like others in my shoes, it has been at a great cost. APC was not on the ballot in 2019. So, no member contested election because of crisis.”
On the solution to the political fight, he said, “When political squabble has descended to the level of ego, it’s difficult to get solution from mediation, unless those involved cast aside ego and agree to talk. The question is who will be the first to stoop to cast aside his ego? Two of them seem to have issues to quarrel about.”
He said Amaechi and Abe accused each other of betrayal and their private family matters have been dragged into the crisis.
The APC chieftain who is also a lawyer, but prefers being regarded as a journalist because of his undying passion for journalism, also pointed out that similar issues of ego and dragging of private family life into partisan politics are also the obstacles to cordial relationship between Governor Nyesom Wike and his predecessor and former boss, Amaechi.
On whether there are no father-figures in the state that can mediate, he regretted that those who would have intervened have queued behind Amaechi, Wike, or Abe because they are benefiting from their strained relationship.
“None of the Rivers state elders would want the taps supplying them benefits from to the protracted political fights among their three prominent sons to dry up. People who are eating, don’t talk”.
Wali therefore, challenged media practitioners to go back to their watchdog role in the Society. He insisted the Nigeria has remained the way it is because the media abdicated its responsibility in addition to the apparent docility of members of the society.
He pointed the issue of soot and pollution of the atmosphere that is putting the health of the people of state in danger has not received enough publicity and advocacy in the media.
“We are daily inhaling cancerous particles from soot every day. Soot does not discriminate against any political party you belong. All of us inhaling into our organs foreign particles that will shorten our life span if urgent steps are not taken curb the sources.”
On the controversies generated by the N500 million donated to Sokoto State government by Governor Wike, the APC chieftain pointed out right from the time of the Old Rivers State with the late Governor Melford Okilo, the state’s funds had always been spent to assist the North, depending on the political interest of the Governor.