The Chairman of the Interim Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tony Okocha, has accused the former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, of being an arrogant individual.
According to Okocha, Amaechi does not listen to his followers and only wants things done according to his own wisdom.
In an interview with journalists 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 was once Chief of Staff to Amaechi, confirmed that the relationship between himself and his former boss turned sour and only reached new heights during the 2023 elections because of the attitude of the former minister.
Responding to the question on mending fences with Amaechi, Okocha, while not ruling out reconciliation in the future, said he will not abandon others in the party to go after one big man.
In his words, “To be honest, our relationship has soured even before he aspired to become the party's presidential candidate. It was not because of money or interests in our lives, but because the party in its totalitarian attitude became a social club.
“It was bad that the party did not even field candidates for elections, and where we succeeded, they wanted to withdraw. It's about weakness, and nothing else. I told them that it will not be business as usual because the APC they saw yesterday is not the APC they see under me today. We will participate in the elections in all districts. We will not just compete, but compete to win.
“The relationship soured to a head during the presidential election because they felt I should have supported my boss because I had previously served as chief of staff. But I was on Asiwaju's side. His problem is that he has no time to listen to his followers because he is arrogant, no one means anything to him and he wants everything to go according to his whims and whims.
“Once again he announced to his followers to vote against Asiwaju. I have not bothered to find out his status within the party because we have members of the transition committee who come from his camp. It is also completely wrong to say that we are trying to exclude his camp.
“The interim committee did not come from just one faction. Remember, three groups came to national headquarters and each of the groups told its side of the story. It is impossible for anyone to invalidate the other. And the Chairman continued to emphasize one thing, to the point of alliterating that there is no peace in the state party.
“The seven-member group is an amalgamation of the three groups. I was not from the Amaechi group, my secretary and the PRO were all from the Amaechi faction. The truth is that they have shot themselves in the foot because pride precedes the fall. They feel reluctant to identify with us.
“I believe in the philosophy of the more the merrier. I'm not willing to sacrifice three people to look for one great man. And I am not the shepherd Jesus Christ refers to in the Bible, who left 99 sheep in search of one missing sheep.
“The risk is that before you return from your search, it is possible that the other 99 may have been derailed. I do not rule out the possibility of contacting Amaechi, but it must be gradual and subject to rules. I will not be forced to look for one big man.'