Oji Ngofa, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Rivers south-east, says the feud between Magnus Abe, incumbent senator in the district, and Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, is unnecessary.
Abe and Amaechi fell out because of the senator’s governorship ambition.
Commenting on the feud between both men, Ngofa, who is Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, claimed Abe lacks political intelligence.
He said he stopped supporting Abe for almost a decade, saying he cannot support anyone that creates disunity in the leadership of the party.
He added that Abe had benefited immensely from the party, asking why he could not shelve his ambition for the party’s unity.
“I think that essentially it’s power play, nothing out of normal politicking, that is what is happening in our party in the state,” Ngofa said in an interview.
“But I think that from my point of view that Senator Abe has demonstrated crass lack of political intelligence…
“This unnecessary political fight has been exacerbated by ego, malice and a feeling of entitlement as well as a tinge of messianic complex by my brother Sen. Magnus Abe. Given the love and friendship I witnessed between him and the leader (Amaechi), his behaviour is completely unnecessary.
“And I did tell Sen. Abe that I did not think that we should divide the family because of his aspiration. Because the way I see it is that he has a right to aspire, nobody is challenging that but I have issues with the fact that you want to upturn and destroy a system because of your own aspiration. A system that you have been part of, that Sen. Abe is one of its biggest beneficiaries, a system that you have been promoting.
“And I disagreed with that and I told him (Abe) that if he intends to pursue his ambition outside of the framework of our political family and collective interest under Amaechi’s leadership, I will not be part of it. I made it very clear to him. I have a concern with the fact that you have been part of a system that has promoted you, has given you the platform.
“Each time you (Abe) were nominated for one position or the other within the political family, somebody else felt denied and I can give examples because I have been there. I have been part of the system and so to turn around to say that you have to bring down that system because of your own personal aspiration, I disagree with that, I do not think that would work well for the survival of the structure that all of us put in place and that’s exactly what is going on.”
He said while there was a consensus among most stakeholders that everybody should hold on to their ambition and build the party first, Abe was still consulting and was setting up structures outside the recognized structure for his governorship ambition.
Describing Abe as his friend and brother, Ngofa advised him to reconcile with the party’s leadership and put its interest first.
He dismissed speculations that the APC in the state was not ready for elections, saying there is no problem.
“That is coming from people, especially from the opposition who are trying to give that narrative to create doubt and probably weaken our support base in the state,” he said.
“Even with all the plethora of litigations currently going on in the party, I don’t think that it’s a problem.
“I will advise my brother and my friend that he ends this thing right now and come back and work with his political family.
“There is no way as he continues with this agitation that it will not be seen as a deliberate cooperation, collaboration and conniving with the PDP in Rivers state against his party, the APC.”