* As battle for position of Tinubu’s contact man in Rivers rages
By Ignatius Chukwu
Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amachi’s chief of staff when he was governor of Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha, has dethroned him.
On Sunday, March 5, 2023, Chief Okocha announced the dethronement of his former boss and declared himself new leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
He also advised his former ally, Magnus Abe, now in the SDP, to face his new party and now come to drag influence in the Tinubu or APC family.
Chief Okocha addressed the press on Sunday in his home in Rumuigbo, Port Harcourt, where he said he has henceforth become the new APC leader in the state.
Giving reason, he said Amaechi worked for the victory of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and failed. “In politics, winner takes all. He lost, I led the Tinubu campaigns in the state and won. I am the new leader.”
He also threw stones at Magnus Abe, the former senator who dragged the position of leader of the APC with Amaechi for years, saying; “Abe voted for SDP and not Tinubu. APC lost in his ward. He is now in the SDP, he cannot eat his cake and have it. Face your lane.”
Okocha had earlier told BusinessDay that Amaechi was the cause of the failure of the APC in 2015 and 2019, but that the moment of Gov Nyesom Wike came out to help the APC, the party won for the first time.
He said Wike is now the political leader of Rivers State who would lead the state to the national caucus and assign roles to others, while he (Okocha) is the new Rivers APC leader”.
Okocha was executive assistant to Wike when the he (Wike) was Obio/Akpor local council chairman. Okocha later became Amaechi Chief of Staff for eight years where he said he handled political matters (and other matters) for the governor. He says he knows each of his former bosses like the palm of his hands.
Okocha told the press that the APC official team for the governorship campaign did not campaign for Tinubu, and that Magnus Abe of the SDP did not any day mention Tinubu at his own governorship rallies.
Meanwhile, members of the Tinubu Support Group now found in the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and Independent Campaign Council (ICC) have made it clear that Okocha is the undisputable leader of all the groups in the state and that his statements commending Gov Wike for helping to win Rivers State for Tinubu are correct.
The spokesman, Godpower Egbono, Coordinator, Coalition of Tinubu Support Groups, said it was Okocha who convoked a meeting of adherents, particularly PCC/ICC members at his residence where the first Press Conference complaining of docility of Tinubu’s campaign in Rivers State caused by the disinterest of Tonye Cole, the State Coordinator of PCC in Rivers State.
Reacting to what the state coordinator of the ICC, Sir Augustine Wokocha, former power commissioner in the Amaechi era said, Egbono said Okocha was mandated to address the press and say the things he said.
He said it was Okocha who secured the venue of the Tinubu rally and who also mobilized funds through his source (s) and declared same to them when the national office was sluggish in release of funds having been deceived by others that they would defray the cost of the campaign rally but allegedly never did.