The Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has dismissed claims by the Peoples Democratic Party that he was funding the All Progressives Congress with the state’s resources.
The PDP in Rivers State had maintained that finances of the state had become inadequate for executing development projects because the governor was using a large chunk of the resources to fund APC campaigns.
Amaechi had defected from the PDP to the APC after a lingering political crisis that threatened the governor’s control of the PDP structures in the state.
But Amaechi, who spoke at the launch of the campaign of the State APC governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, insisted that he was not funding the APC.
He challenged those accusing him of using state resources to fund the APC to show any proof or bank account through which he was sending money belonging to the state to the party.
Describing the APC as a political party capable of funding its activities, the governor explained that the state had no money to fund any political party.
According to him, “Rivers State Government has no money to fund the APC. They have been accusing me of using Rivers money to fund the APC. The APC is a big party. So, it can fund its activities.
“I do not fund the APC with Rivers money. I challenge all those who have been accusing me of funding the APC to show just one account through which I fund the APC with monies belonging to Rivers State.”
Amaechi, however, urged members of the party from Port Harcourt Local Government Area to collect their permanent voters’ cards and vote for the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, on February 14, 2015.
“Buhari can win the presidential election if you vote for him. Your vote can make the needed change in Nigeria. Buhari will make sure that the thieves amongst Nigerians do not steal your money again.
“He will then use the money he has saved from the thieves amongst Nigerians to build roads, infrastructure and fight poverty and create jobs for millions of Nigerians,” the governor said.
Describing Peterside as his successor, Amaechi, who introduced the APC governorship candidate to the crowd, expressed dissatisfaction over the turnout of the party supporters for the rally, adding that the exercise will be repeated on January 2, 2015.
He said, “This stadium has a capacity for 16,000 people. You promised us you were going to mobilise 20,000 supporters to the rally, but you could only mobilise 10,000, which is not good enough. Port Harcourt Local Government has over 106,000 registered APC members. So, you must repeat this rally.”
In his remark, Peterside urged the people of the state to vote for their destiny and that of their children, adding that the 2015 governorship election was not about ethnicity.
“The 2015 governorship election is not about ethnicity; it is not about our individual tribe; it is not about where you come from; it is about your destiny and the destiny of your children. It is about our collective future,” the governorship candidate added.
Peterside added that his administration would focus on four key areas, describing them as security, respect for the rule of law, infrastructural projects, the development of human capital and wealth creation.
Also, the State APC Chairman, Dr. Davis Ibiamu Ikanya, explained that the party would organize rallies for its governorship candidate in the 23 local government areas in the state.
Highlight of the occasion was the decamping of some members of the Rivers Mainstream Coalition to the APC.
The coalition is formerly a platform on which the aggrieved 16 governors expressed their views against the PDP’s refusal to embrace the rotation of the governorship position.
Some of the defectors are Lolo Ibieneye now the chief campaign strategist for Peterside’s campaign organization.
Also, the coalition’s spokesman, Mr. Sotoye Ijiye-Dagogo and some other PDP bigwigs in the state like Curtis Dike and Chief Davis Saboma, moved to the APC.