Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-South zone have warned the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the party leadership to immediately address their grievances, or else they will not vote for him in February 2023 election.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, the politicians alleged that the party leadership do not like former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and is not treating party stakeholders from the zone with respect.
Naija News understands that the party chieftains stated this at a one-day consultive meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Sunday, October 2, 2023.
As contained in the statement obtained by The PUNCH, the meeting comprises the national assembly and state house of assembly candidates and other party chieftains.
The politicians also expressed their displeasure over Tinubu and some party chieftain’s consistent meeting with Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
They Do Not Like Amaechi
Speaking of the party leadership hating on Amaechi, the state APC chairman, Emeke Beke, who said he was speaking as an individual, expressed dismay that none of the party members from the zone whose names were submitted to the national level of the party made the list of the APC presidential campaign council.
Beke told Chief Victor Giadom to relate their grievances to the national level when he returns that the state APC chairmen in the zone took a position and have written to the President and the national officers in that regard, even as he called for a refund of 25 per cent from the proceeds of the sale of forms in the state.
He said: “We have written to the President, to the national chairman, to the candidate (Tinubu), to the chairman of the governors’ forum and the Director General of the campaigns.
“You people asked us to nominate five, five names for campaign council. None of the five names we sent appeared on the list because they don’t like Rotimi Amaechi. From the zone, no one (names) appeared. And the chairmen have taken a position on that. We will down our tool.
“As you go back tell the national chairman that Rivers State bought forms of over one billion naira. And what we are asking, remit to the state 25 per cent of that money.”
Beke stressed that if the money is not remitted to Rivers State, the party leadership should forget about coming to Rivers State to campaign for a presidential candidate.
He said: “We will vote for our national assembly state house of assembly candidates and focus on the governorship candidate of this state and we will win.
“The truth is that what has happened to Rivers State is because they don’t like Rotimi Amaechi. I speak as Emeka Beke, not as Rivers APC Chairman.
“I have heard and seen Wike’s comments on Television and social media respectively. Wike dines with leaders of our great party. If the national does not listen to the APC Rivers State, we will take our destiny in our hands.”
According to him, PDP’s Governor Wike does not have the political spread to win an election.
He said the opposition member was only luring leaders of the party with financial inducement, “even as he expressed worry that respected leaders of the party are constantly visiting the state and dining with Wike just a few months to the general poll.”
Beke added: “We have been out of government for eight years. Now we want to win elections. I can tell you that Wike does not have the political base to win an election in Rivers State.
“What Wike is doing is giving the bride to leaders of our own party to shortchange the APC family in Rivers State.
“My candidates and members in Rivers State have suffered. Candidates are selling their land, selling their property to make sure they win an election and keep the APC in power.
“Then leaders that we look up to will come here and campaign. At the end of the day, they will dine with Governor Wike at night. Please tell them not to dine with Governor Wike again. Let them support this party in the state. We don’t have a super minister because they don’t like one man.
“We are party men, but tell them if they don’t support us we will not support them.”
I Know That Everything You Have Said Is True
Having listened to the party stakeholders, the APC national vice chairman, South-South and former acting national chairman of the party, Chief Giadom, admitted that all that was said is true.
He expressed his gratitude to the party faithful for their frank comments and contributions. Giadom said: “This is my own constituency and I am from Rivers State. I know exactly that everything that you have said here is true.
“Everybody in Nigeria knows that what you are complaining about is true. From the speaker (Femi Gbajabiamila), Governor Fayemi, and Governor Akeredolu, all came here (Rivers) to commission projects, and by doing it, praised Governor Wike.
“By doing that you are marketing our opponents against the APC. So we will put it to them, we will make them know.
“I can also tell you that we are passing through very tough times.”
Conversing with newsmen shortly after the meeting, the party chieftain said, “The reason why we are here, is to collect what we feel are the challenges in the party, with the aim of providing solutions for them or be ready to face the consequences.
“We have come, we have listened to them, we have heard them clearly, and we are going to put them together and report to the national party in Abuja to ensure that we find solutions to all the things that we know will help us win election in Rivers State.
“I know the pains of my people, which is also our collective pain. We were not on the ballot in 2019, which of course we know that I was supposed to be a direct beneficiary of that ticket.”
Giadom added: “But the manipulation of the system denied us from being on that ballot. So, people have the right to be apprehensive, they have the right to be worried.
“But I can assure them that, by the grace of God, we will be victorious this time around and APC would win in Rivers State and recapture back our possession of becoming in charge of Rivers State leadership and we will form a government and be in government house.”