Rotimi Amaechi, former minister of transportation, has urged his supporters to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 polls.
He said this on Saturday when he arrived Rivers, on his visit to the state after contesting the APC presidential ticket.
Addressing aggrieved members of the party, who were said to have expected him to win the primary, Amaechi said no matter their anger, they should still vote for the APC.
“Let me start by thanking all of you. I will make slight amends to the statement made by our leader. We have not won, because even the Bible we read says faith without work is dead. So, we will win if we are ready to work,” he said.
“It will be total arrogance to just sit at home and think you’ll win. Trust the courts, justice will be done. Don’t be afraid. Go home and work. Our job is to work; that is why I came. I came to thank you and to urge you to work. All of us are unit leaders; no more local government leaders.
“Let’s go home and win our units. We must praise INEC and the national assembly for reducing the level of rigging.
“I’ll be coming home regularly to make sure we win. I will not be an Abuja politician. You will see me here so that we can win.
“Please, the contest for the presidency, we should know that we should vote for our party, no matter how angry you are. Forget the stories you’re hearing; forget about those gossiping about a meeting in France. Let this place be your own France. Vote for your party.”
Speaking later at a media briefing, Amaechi said the panel set up by the Rivers state government to probe him ought to submit whatever information they have on him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
On June 10, Nyesom Wike, Rivers governor, had said the state filed a suit against the former governor over alleged fraud.
Wike set up a seven-man panel to probe Amaechi over an alleged withdrawal of N96 billion from the state’s treasury during the latter’s tenure as governor.
The panel had also investigated issues surrounding the “sale of assets” by the former governor.
Speaking on the development, Amaechi said his side of the story has not yet been heard.
“First, I hope the governor has a good lawyer. The supreme court has the overall say and has given the power to the panel. The work of the panel is to gather information and ought to give whatever they have gathered to either the ICPC, EFCC or the police,” he said.
“The police has not invited me, the EFCC hasn’t, neither has the ICPC. Secondly, there ought to be a fair hearing and I will be called to hear my side of the story, but I haven’t been heard. So, how do we just go to court?
“So, it’s not about being served. The supreme court says there has to be an investigation before it is decided if the case qualifies for court or not. The process must go through the law.”
Speaking further on his advice for aggrieved supporters, Amaechi maintained that they should still support the APC.
“For the aggrieved members of the party, there is no advice I can give them. The primary election was a contest and one must win. If I had won, the others would campaign and vote for me and it should be vice versa. Regardless of the presidency, let’s go out and vote for our party,” he added.
Amaechi also reacted to the rumours of plans to reconcile with Magnus Abe, a former senator representing Rivers south-east, saying “I am not aware of any reconciliation.”