Former Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Andrew Uchendu, has called on the former Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District Magnus Ngei Abe to forces with other leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC to rebuild the Party.
Uchendu made the call while addressing newsmen at his Port Harcourt residence on Wednesday.
He said it was time for Abe to jettison his blame games and join in rebuilding the Party as one of the respected leaders in the State.
Uchendu stressed that zoning arrangements in political Parties all over the world are not intended to preclude any individual or geopolitical group from pursuing their constitutional right to contest elections but were only designed to ensure equity, justice and fairness in the rotation of political power amongst member groups within a particular political group.
He, however, expressed disappointment over Sen. Abe’s continued and continuous criticism of the Minister of Transportation and leader of the Party in the State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
He said Abe’s recent statement that the Minister lacks the right to zone the Party’s Governorship ticket to the Riverine part of the State is wrong.
Uchendu added that Amaechi only made a harmless statement which was in line with the 2015 Party position to encourage rotation of power, a position which has seen Riverine candidates emerge in both 2015 and 2019 Governorship elections in the State under the platform of the Party.
“I am greatly surprised and disappointed at the statement of Sen. Magnus Abe. I felt that after the Supreme Court judgment which portrayed a No-victor, no-vanquished posture, it was time for everyone to come together to rebuild the Party. This is no time for crying or blame games. Sen. Abe should join his rank and file in the Party to rebuild it
“Amaechi only made an innocuous statement and that is his position and has always been. In 2015 we took a decision that power should rotate between the upland and riverine. In 2019, we still maintained that policy since the rotation of power to the Riverine was not materialized.
“Until and unless the Party chooses to reverse that position, it is only logical and fair that we maintain the same policy. What Amaechi said was his own personal view based on the 2015 policy of power rotation which has not been reversed. However, that does not stop Abe as a leader from maintaining his own position.
“In a pluralistic and multi-ethnic society such as we have in Rivers State, rotation of power is a sine qua non to sustainable peace and development. Considering the fact that the upland part of the State has held on to power for a reasonable length of time, it is only fair for broad-minded people to think of the other side of the State. That is Equity.”
Uchendu urged Abe to recall that it was the same Amaechi who firmly supported him for Senate against the duo of Sen. Lee Maeba and Olaka Nwogu who were both his ethnic brothers.
According to Uchendu, “I recall that Amaechi fought both Lee Maeba and Olaka Nwogu to the hilt just to ensure Abe was elected into the Senate. Abe did not consider that as imposition or marginalisation but now that it has affected him directly he is talking about imposition and marginalisation.”
He reminded Abe of his statement that he (Abe) was Amaechi’s greatest political investment and wondered what has changed now.
Uchendu appealed to Sen. Abe to stop deceiving his supporters by telling them not to revalidate as that does not affect their membership of the Party.
“I think Abe should stop misleading his unsuspecting supporters. To the the best of my limited knowledge, if the National Executive of the Party has directed all existing members to revalidate their membership, then those who fail to do so cease to be members of the Party. Some of us would not want Abe not to be revalidated, he should kindly do the needful, get revalidated and join other leaders to chart a way forward for the Party.
Uchendu maintained that both Abe and himself owe the party and its teeming supporters nothing but peace and a viable platform that will allow younger party faithfuls pursue their political aspirations.
“I strongly feel that Abe and myself, having failed in our responsibilities as leaders to prevent the Party from the internal crisis that denied young party faithfuls the opportunity to express themselves politically as we have done, for this length of time, we have no moral justification to cause further trouble other than join hands to rebuild the Party” he concluded.