Against the backdrop of perceived leadership crisis in the Rivers chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), one of the leaders of the party in the state, Dr Dakuku Peterside says all members are united under the headship of former Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
Declaring this in a special radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt on Saturday, Dr Peterside rubbished insinuations that Amaechi had hijacked the party for the personal gains.
According to him, all party members have the right to aspire to any position, just as individuals within the party also have rights to choose whomever they will support.
“Amaechi is the leader of all, everybody subscribes to his leadership. He has no such powers to hijack the APC. He is one member of the APC, if he has the support of the majority, you will say he has the support of the majority including myself.
“He cannot be the leader of every ward and local government in Rivers, it is not possible. He is the leader at the state level because of the support of other leaders, both elected and not elected, every member of the APC subscribes to his leadership.”
Peterside, who is also the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) disagreed with those suggesting that the governorship ambition of Senator Magnus Abe was the reason for the crisis in the party.
According to him, “Magnus Abe can’t be the reason. He is entitled to aspire to any office in the land, including the Presidency. No man can stop him from aspiring for any office he chooses to contest. What he cannot guarantee is the support of individuals because it is their choice.
“Am sure there will be others who will make their intentions known. The party will set the guidelines for the primaries and if he wins, everybody will rally round him. We ordinarily expect him to also support whoever emerges from the party.
On the issue of either being politically independent or dependent, the NIMASA boss hinged his position on both, while insisting that his interest is to serve Rivers people to the best of his ability.
“I am politically dependent on Rivers people and politically independent at mind; meaning I could make my own decisions, hold on to my own decisions, pursue my own decisions, but whatever role I will have to play in politics is dependent on the decision of Rivers people taking through the ballot box. So as an individual, in terms of my philosophical stand, in terms of my thinking, in terms of the actions I take, I am politically independent; in terms of relying on the votes of the people; I rely on the votes of Rivers people to take a position and the aggregate of the opinion of Rivers people, you try to persuade them but if there is superior opinion, you bow to them,” he stressed.