The 2023 general elections have come and gone but some of the issues generated from the election still remain the topic of discussion amongst political analysts and by extension, Nigerians.
If you can recall that, immediately after the All Progressive Congress Convention in Abuja that produced the President-elect Tinubu, as party flagbearer where Rotimi Ameachi, former Minister of Transportation lost, it has been a cold war between these two heavyweights, despite Tinubu’s effort to reach out to him and get them to work together for the presidential election. Shortly after the primaries, Ameachi told a set of journalists that Tinubu’s emergence as party flag bearer was as a result of the marry delegates he bought over.
Don’t forget that, few weeks before the national convention, Tinubu, Osinbajo and former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi were neck to neck, even though the odds favoured Tinubu.
Tinubu became the northern governors favourite because he was seen as the only one that go neck-to-neck with his biggest opponent Atiku and win.
Shortly, after the convention, in an effort to bring everybody together and work as a team to defeat other party’s presidential candidates, there was a need to meet with Amaechi. But there was a serious feud between Rivers governor and Amaechi and they (Tinubu camp) could only work with one of them. Tinubu and other APC governors felt Wike was best for the task and they started meetings with him.
There were strong indications that the Rivers State All Progressives Congress led by immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was angry about the romance between the president elect, Bola Tinubu’s men; and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who had met with some APC chieftains, including Tinubu’s allies. Don’t forget that, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was invited by Wike to inaugurate a road project. Governor Wike at a point was also in Lagos.
During this period, the Rivers governor also invited former Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to inaugurate some projects in his state.
Also at that period, some APC governors led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, had also met Wike in his state amid his feud with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
According to sources close to the former Minister these movements unsettled Amaechi’s camp.
Prior to this time, Tinubu, who had just emerged as the candidate of the party, APC, had visited Amaechi on how they can work together and to also deliver Rivers State for Tinubu in the presidential election. We learnt that, Tinubu and his camp had to settle for one person between governor Wike and Amaechi since they had vowed to work together.
When Tinubu finally settled for Wike, this infuriated Amaechi and he decided to work against Tinubu. Another source also told us that, Amaechi was determined to install Tonye Cole as the next governor of Rivers after Governor Wike.
A few weeks ago, governor Wike alleged that, Rotimi Amaechi and his protégé, Tonye Cole, actively opposed the demand for power shift to the South and worked against their party’s presidential candidate in Rivers State,” Wike alleged during a state broadcast.
“When the President-elect emerged as the winner, Tonye Cole rushed to congratulate him on his Instagram handle but deleted the post when he was criticised…”
Apart from his allegiance with Governor Wike, they also accused Tinubu of supporting Senator Magnus Abe who recently dumped the APC to run for governor on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.
One of Amaechi’s insiders revealed that, the APC leaders have been coming to Rivers State to lobby Wike and make all manner of promises to him. These people never came to Rivers even when the party was having crisis.
“They forgot Amaechi came second in that presidential primary and is still the leader of the APC in Rivers State. Rather than rally around him, they have been romancing Wike. Tinubu was among the sponsors of Magnus Abe who has defected to the SDP.
Magnus Abe is Tinubu’s boy. He is always with Tinubu. Even after joining the SDP, he is still with Tinubu and he worked for Tinubu’s campaign. Yet they cannot caution him.”
They said it was sad the way Amaechi was neglected and abandoned before the general elections. This didn’t go well with Amaechi and his followers.
A few weeks ago, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that a member of the camp of the President-elect, Senator Bola Tinubu, nominated the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for his reappointment for a second term.
After voting in his hometown, Ubima Ward 8 Unit 14, Amaechi expressed dissatisfaction with the polling, decrying what he called a total failure of governance in Nigeria. A lot of people were surprised Mr Amaechi can make a such indicted statement because he was part of the system.
Also, early in 2022 the political division between Amaechi and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu got wider after their alliance in 2013 to 2015 Presidential election where Amaechi and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu used United States of America Political Consultant David Axelrod who in 2008 consulted for President Barack Obama’s electoral victory. That political alliance with President-elect Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Amaechi no longer resonates with vigour and how the incoming APC administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will carry along the Amaechi political allies will determine how beneficial both politicians will be to the common good of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
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