The rivalry between Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Rotimi Ameachi has been ignited yet again in another sparring fashion.
Amaechi, the former transportation minister, and presidential aspirant recently accused the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) of bribing delegates at the APC presidential primary election.
As reported by the Punch newspaper, Ameachi made the allegation public on Saturday, July 23 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the birthday ceremony of Pastor Eugene Ogu.
The ex-governor of Rivers State while stating the allegation said those whose votes were monetized are now regretting their actions.
Ameachi’s comment was without criticism as some party members described his actions as being bitter and frustrated over his loss to Tinubu who defeated him and 13 others to clinch the presidential ticket of the party.
Meanwhile, the camp of the Rivers State politicians did not settle for silence as they came to his defense stating that Ameachi did not mention anybody’s name.
Director-General of Asiwaju Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation, Adebayo Shittu, said he found the utterances of Amaechi unbelievable.
“Who is regretting what? Can Amaechi isolate himself from those he claimed to have induced delegates for votes? He, just like other aspirants at the APC primaries, cannot point fingers at others without implicating themselves.
“What does he mean by delegates are regretting they collected bribes for votes? Is he indirectly saying the governors who brought them collected bribes and expressing regret too? I wish to have an opportunity to square up with him on this kind of issue.”
“Amaechi’s outburst, just like few other noticeable ones, was obviously done out of frustration.”
Similarly, the pro-Tinubu support group in Ekiti state also aimed a dig at Ameachi for his comment.
The coordinator of the group, Gabriel Babalola stated that Tinubu merited his victory and had worked hard for it before emerging victorious at the primaries.
Sitting on the fence over the matter, APC’s youngest aspirant, Nicholas Felix urged the loyalists of both politicians to keep calm over the matter.
“Amaechi, like some other aspirants and party members, may not be pleased with the fact that Asiwaju won the elections, especially with the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket playing out.”
Felix however noted that the narrative would probably be different if Tinubu had not resorted to a Muslim-Muslim ticket. He predicted that the whole party would have been fired up for the 2023 polls in solidarity with the victory of Bola Tinubu.
A loyalist to Ameachi, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze in his opinion was disappointed that the camp of Bola Tinubu blew the matter out of proportion.
Eze reiterated the earlier assertion from other Ameachi loyalists that he did not mention any name while uttering the statement.
Also, the Rivers state APC deputy publicity secretary, Darlington Nwauju stated that Ameachi was clearly blown out of context.
“First of all, I was present at that ceremony or the event where he spoke. Now the issue is that he gave an example anybody can give any interpretation. And I hope they also heard when he said ‘please, vote for the APC.’ He said that clearly.
“So, when people take the example out of issues, he contextualised it because he is an APC member. He couldn’t have used the example of the PDP. If he had said those who voted for Atiku Abubakar, they would have said ‘oh, because he wants to join the PDP.’ So he contextualised it.”