Rivers crisis: Abe, Wike settle long-standing feud

By Dennis Naku

The protracted political feud between former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and Senator Magnus Abe may now be a thing of the past, following the latter’s statement that he has ‘made peace’ with the former.

Abe, who was Rivers State governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections, in a Facebook post seen by our correspondent on Thursday, said he had mended fences with Wike, now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

Prior to the 2023 elections, Abe first fell out of favour with his principal and former Governor of the State, Rotimi Amaechi, who picked Lagos-based businessman and co-owner of Sahara Energy, Tonye Cole, as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the state.

On the other hand, Wike settled for his political godson and then Accountant General of the state, Siminalayi Fubara, to succeed him.

Following Amaechi’s preference for Cole, Wike allegedly made some scathing remarks which some pundits interpreted to mean that Amaechi had used and dumped Abe, who served as Secretary to the Rivers State Government during his first tenure.

Though there was never an open verbal brawl between Wike and Abe, who represented the Rivers South-East in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, the two erstwhile friends maintained their distance due to their political differences going into the elections.

When Abe eventually secured the SDP ticket and boasted that he would win the governorship election,  it deepened his rift with Wike.

Even after the elections, Wike and Abe were not seen together until during the visit of Bola Tinubu, then President-elect following his victory at the poll.

Tinubu was in Rivers on Wike’s invitation to inaugurate some projects completed by his administration.

Both Wike and Abe were, however, spotted at the Port International Airport, Omagwa, shaking hands in the presence of Tinubu, which was the last time they were seen together in public.

Wike and Abe, though were in the PDP and the SDP respectively, both supported Tinubu to become President.

But surprisingly Abe rode in the same vehicle with Wike to the special thanksgiving of Chief Tony Okocha, who is both the state Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC and the Rivers State representative on the Management Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The event held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Rumuapara in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

Abe, in a statement on Thursday, admitted riding with Wike in the same vehicle, stating that he had made peace with the FCT Minister.

According to the statement, while noting that the APC is home, Abe described Wike as a truthful and sincere politician.

He said, “I have made peace with the honourable Minister of the FCT, and former Governor of Rivers State. I accompanied him to Chief Tony Okocha’s thanksgiving to show that my commitment to end the rift in our party is total.

“I want to publicly thank the minister; he could have behaved like other politicians –make peace with me, and still encourage me, Tony and others to continue fighting (you bring Magnus in the morning through one door, then bring Tony in the evening through the other door).

“But his style is direct, truthful and sincere, and it will create a united team. The disagreements within are over and gone for good because the oxygen for conflict has been extinguished.

“It may take a little while but the end result is that all those with us, who sincerely wish us well will go with us and toe the path of unity because we all know that it is the right way to go.”

This development may mend the cracks within the Rivers APC and pave the way for further reconciliation of other aggrieved members who either left or stayed away from party activities

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