Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, November 6, 2013
The leaders of All Progressives Congress – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd., and the National Chairman of the APC Chief Bisi Akande among others – visited Port-Harcourt Rivers State to invite Governor Rotimi Amaechi to cross over and join APC. Asiwaju Bola TinuR-L Gen Mohamadu Buhari, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Former Governor of Lagos State/APC Leader; Engr Tele Ikuru, Rivers State Deputy Governor and Chief Tom Ikimi, Interim National Vice Chairman, APC South South yesterday during a visit of the APC Leadership to Rivers State. Photo: Nwankpa Chijiokebu said: “We did not come here to campaign but to see and invite. Amaechi has performed well. This country can’t progress on lies.” In his speech, the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande said: “Today, the unstoppable APC train, which has made important stops in Kano, Jigawa and Adamawa, has arrived in Rivers State.”
Chibuike Amaechi, a courageous governor
Bola Tinubu and Governor Amaechi Continuing, Chief Akande said: “This is another important stop, because it allows us, the APC leaders, not only to invite Chibuike Amaechi, the courageous governor of Rivers, to join the growing APC family, but to show our solidarity with a man who has succeeded in battling anti-democratic forces to a standstill…. Our party has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Governor Amaechi since the beginning of his travails. We have been unrelenting in our support because our party stands for justice, fairness and unfettered freedom. We abhor dictatorship clad in fake democratic garments.”
“We believe that the system of government that we operate does not make provision for an imperial presidency, who can neither be criticized nor opposed. That is why we told those who said the APC is crying more than the bereaved on the Rivers State issue, that we are indeed the bereaved anytime the rule of law is supplanted with the rule of the jungle; and we are the bereaved anytime a democratically-elected President thumbs his nose at the Nigerian Constitution. Or how else do we explain a situation in which a duly elected Governor, who is known to the Constitution as the Chief Security Officer of his state, is now being made to run his state side by side with the State Police Commissioner, who has been elevated to the de facto Governor by the presidency?”
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Former Governor of Lagos State/APC Leader and Engr Tele Ikuru, Rivers State Deputy Governor yesterday at the Rivers State Government House during a visit of the APC Leadership to Rivers State. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke“How do we explain a situation in which a state governor is being prevented from accessing his official residence by the police who should take orders from him? Where is it done that a state governor cannot receive visitors, including fellow state governors, without being tear-gassed and humiliated by the police? Or how does one justify a situation in which armed thugs backed by the police attack lawmakers in the hallowed chambers of the State House of Assembly?
Gov. Amaechi has been enduring these and other indignities, without wilting under fire! His plane has been grounded under flimsy, cooked-up excuses! They felt they have clipped his wings, but he is soaring even higher.
In defense of democracy and the Constitution
What is his offence? Standing up for the defence of democracy and the Constitution, leading his fellow Governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to reject creeping dictatorship. But because he provided good leadership, because he has the support of his colleagues in the NGF and because his cause is just, he has prevailed over his adversaries, and he stands taller than his physique.
Because he stands as a bulwark against those who wanted to annihilate democracy and cripple governance, the plan to extend the anarchy in Rivers State to other states of the Federation has failed. That is why we called him an epitome of courage.
Amaechi, an epitome of courage.
It was Maya Angelou, the African-American author and poet, who said courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. Perhaps that was why another American poet, Robert Frost, said that freedom lies in being bold. Thanks to Gov. Amaechi’s courage, Nigeria’s democracy is stronger, and our country is better. We salute your courage under fire, your tenacity under an endless assault and your commitment to unfettered freedom for all citizens. Since the leaking umbrella can no longer protect you from the vagaries of harsh weather, we ask you to jump on the APC train that will take Nigeria to the promised land!
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Former Governor of Lagos State/APC Leader; Engr Tele Ikuru, Rivers State Deputy Governor and Chief Tom Ikimi, Interim National Vice Chairman, APC South South yesterday during a visit of the APC Leadership to Rivers State. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke
Resist Acts of Impunity.
Amaechi and Gen. BuhariIn his speech, Governor Amaechi who spoke to the crowd at the Government House Port-Harcourt who came to receive the Interim national leadership of the APC. He sang: “There is nobody greater than God, there is no one greater than Jehovah Lord Divine.” He mentioned that his administration has done its best to construct roads, build health centers and schools and empower the youth of the state. Governor Amaechi further called on the people to resist acts of impunity. “I came down to march with you when I heard that they locked the gate at the airport against you. We walked five kilometres to the airport. We forced the gate open and I walked with you. We must prepare ourselves from now on.” Governor Amaechi referred to his unique position among the G-7 Governors in the new PDP since he came from the same South-South zone with President Goodluck Jonathan. “I am peculiar in the group of the seven governors. The President comes from our zone. I will consult our leaders, the President; I will consult you, I will consult all consultables. I will come back to you. The day we shall take a decision it will be at the new stadium that can take 40,000 persons. If we are staying (in PDP), we shall call the President to the stadium to address us, but if we are going we shall call Tinubu and Buhari to come and address us.” When Bola Tinubu moved a motion calling on the governor to cross over to the APC, it was endorsed by the large crowd in front of the Government House, Port-Harcourt. The occasion was witnessed by representatives of the 23 local governments in the state, 26 loyal State House of Assembly lawmakers (out of 33), led by the Speaker, Hon Otelemaba Amachree and Rivers State members of the National Assembly loyal to Governor Amaechi.