Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the minister for transportation in the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has made two mistakes that may seriously affect the progress of the All Progresives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
Since the party was formed, it has never won any major election in the south-south state. This is due to the power tussle within the party which paved the way for the PDP to continue to dominate and rule the oil rich state.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has settled the matter arising from the leadership crisis in the state chapter of the party. But less than three months after the decision of the court, which favoured the faction loyal to Rotimi Amaechi, the minister has made two mistakes.
The first and current one is that his faction wrote a letter to the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) that the APC wouldn't be participating in the Rivers State local government elections.
According to the Guardian Newspaper, the minister reportedly wrote the electoral body in the state that the All Progresives Congress (APC) would distance itself from the election conducted across the state today.
But the decision has not gone down well with the other faction loyal to the former Senator, Magnus Abe, who has been at the loggerheads with the minister. The faction has its candidates who were ready to take part in the exercise.
The Guardian Newspaper reported that the candidates of the APC, who were unable to participate in the election have lambasted the minister for taking a unilateral decision.
One of the candidates who expressed their displeasure to the newspaper, Ilamabo Mirilla, said, "For a party that has not won any major election since its founding in the state, and, in fact, did not participate in the 2019 general elections, the writing to RSIEC to stop us is pointer to a deeper political malaise in our beloved party"
It is a mistake for Amaechi to have decided that the APC shouldn't take part in the exercise. It could have been a great opportunity for the party to challenge the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and prepare itself for the 2023 gubernatorial election. The PDP doesn't appear indefatigable. But Amaechi has apparently made a political mistake.
The second mistake is that he said that the riverine area of Rivers State would produce the next state governor. Nyesom Wike is the incumbent governor and Amaechi said that it's the turn of the riverine area to produce the next governor.
This statement didn't go down well with Mr. Magnus Abe. The former Senator from Rivers State immediately replied Amaechi and warned the minister against making unilateral decisions.
As reported by the Punch Newspaper, the former powerful senator, said, “I want to stand here and say that the riverine people I know are smarter than those who are trying to use them. It is a poisoned chalice, it is a Greek gift, and it will profit nothing because it is not well-intentioned.”
In a democratic setting, it is wrong to make a personal decision for the whole party. Of course, Mr. Amaechi has right to express his opinion, but as the leader of the party, his opinion would always be considered a final decision. Hence, it is wrong for him to have said that.
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