The chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caretaker committee in Rivers State, Tony Okocha, has accused the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of being an arrogant individual.
According to Okocha, Amaechi doesn’t listen to his followers and only wants things done according to his own wisdom.
Speaking in an interview with journalists, as published by The Nation, the Rivers APC chairman also alleged that Amaechi directed his supporters to vote against President Bola Tinubu, who was the candidate of the APC in the 2023 elections.
Okocha, who once served as the Chief of Staff to Amaechi, confirmed that the relationship between himself and his erstwhile boss has turned sour and only reached new heights during the 2023 elections because of the former Minister’s attitude.
Responding to the question about mending fences with Amaechi, Okocha, while not foreclosing a reconciliation in the future, however, said he won’t abandon others in the party to go after one big man.
In his words, “Truth be told, our relationship has gone so sour even before he aspired to be the presidential candidate of the party. It was not because of money or interests in our lives, but because, in his totalitarian attitude, the party became a social club.
“It was bad that the party didn’t even field candidates for elections and where we managed to do, they wanted to withdraw. It is about weakness, not any other thing. I have told them that it is not going to be business as usual because the APC they saw yesterday is not the one under me that they are seeing today. We are going to participate in the election in all the wards. We will not only contest but contest to win.“The soured relationship got to a crescendo during the presidential election because they felt that I should have supported my boss having served as his Chief of Staff previously. But I was on the side of Asiwaju. His problem is that he has no time to listen to his followers because he is arrogant, nobody means anything to him and he wants everything to be at his whims and caprices.
“Again, he announced to his followers to vote against Asiwaju. I did not bother to find out his status in the party because we have members of the caretaker committee who are from his camp. It is also completely wrong to claim that we are trying to shut his camp out.
“The caretaker committee didn’t come from only one faction. Don’t forget that three groups came to the national headquarters and each of the groups expressed their side of the story. There is no way anyone can emasculate the other. And the Chairman kept emphasising one thing to the point of alliterating that there is no peace in the state party.
“The seven-man group is an amalgam of the three groups. I wasn’t from the Amaechi group, my secretary and the PRO all came from the Amaechi faction. The truth is that they shot themselves in the foot because pride goes before a fall. They feel reluctant to identify with us.
“I believe in the philosophy of the more the merrier. I am not willing to sacrifice three persons to go in search of one big man. And I am not the shepherd Jesus Christ referred to in the Bible that left 99 sheep in search of one missing sheep.
“The risk is that it is possible that before you come back from your search, the other 99 may have derailed. I am not ruling out the possibility of reaching out to Amaechi but it must be gradual and rule-bound. I will not be stampeded into going to search for one big man.”