Rivers State Senator’s litany of lies worrisome
OpenLife Nigeria republishes the litany of lies by Rivers State Senator, Senator Andrew Uchendu.
Senator Andrew Igbonule Uchendu is currently a member of the Senate of Nigeria representing the Rivers East senatorial district. He had always been a member of the People’s Democratic Party until 2014 when he switched allegiance to the All Progressives Congress party. The lies, as revealed by Senator Magnus Abe, who is currently on the board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, have twisted the belief of voters to a level of disarray and misdirection.
Investigations by OpenLife Nigeria indicate that Abe and Uchendu, who had been best of friends over the years, have fallen apart over irreconcilable political differences which centre on governorship zoning arrangement in Rivers State.
While the attempt by this online medium to reach Senator Uchendu for a response failed, Abe’s submission, which is a response to an earlier piece by Senator Uchendu, is presented below unedited.
“I ordinarily would not have responded to Chief Andrew Uchendu’s piece on me titled “ STOP CRYING LETS REBUILD THE PARTY—-“. Because if you are in a vehicle, Screaming out a warning when the driver is heading towards a catastrophic collision, that is not just crying, it is a responsible attempt to save the vehicle and it’s passengers from imminent danger.
I believe that Chief Uchendu like any experienced politician knows that Rivers APC run by impunity and a clear disregard for political and historical realities is in mortal danger. But the senator would rather lie and pretend that all is well to please the powers that be. I will speak up, if that is crying in Senator Uchendu’s ears, so be it, at least it is clear that he has heard me.
Nigerians in general and Rivers people in particular know Chief Uchendu and they also know me.
Let me start by reminding Nigerians that this was the same Chief who after spending 12 years in the House of Representatives, stood before the people of Etche at a public rally to promise the people that he would only run for Senate once, and that next time he would support the people of Etche.
When the next time came around, Senator Uchendu shamelessly snatched the party ticket under the nose of the same people and told them that he was ordered by the party to go back to the Senate. He could not tell the party, of which he claims to be a leader that it was unfair, unjust and indeed dishonorable to lie publicly to the people of Etche.
Chief Uchendu was at a meeting, with myself and others when we agreed in 2015 that our governorship ticket in the APC would go to the Rivers South-East Senatorial District as the only senatorial district in the state that is yet to produce a chief executive in Rivers State.
It was Chief Uchendu who asked the question that day that our party chairman was from the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, and we agreed there and then that the chairman would resign once the governor emerged from the senatorial district. It was on the basis of that zoning to Rivers South-East District that myself and Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside were the only two aspirants shortlisted. Other aspirants who were not from the Rivers South-East Senatorial District were dropped from consideration even though they were Riverine.
Interestingly, it was following that shortlist that the same Senator Uchendu took me to his family home and introduced me to his entire family as his candidate for Governor. His brothers who were introduced to this struggle by Senator Uchendu told me that they felt it was wrong for their family to abandon a man they had accepted into the family, they parted ways with Senator Uchendu to maintain the integrity of their family name.
I was not Riverine at the time.
Senator Uchendu could not keep his word to the Etche people, he could not keep his commitment before his own family, how can Uchendu tell the truth about zoning in the APC?
Where was Chief Uchendu when the Minister unilaterally changed the agreed zoning from Rivers South-East Senatorial District, to riverine and upland in order to bring in his friend and partner who was a total stranger to the politics of Rivers State?. If he had the courage to cry out in any of these circumstances, perhaps things would be different today in the APC.
Just as Senator Uchendu could not speak up for the people of Etche, he also could not speak up for the party, he again failed the test of leadership.
A man who stands for the truth, needs not be afraid to stand alone, for ultimately the truth will triumph over deceit.
The only half-truth in Senator Uchendu’s write-up is where he admitted that he has failed as a leader. He said “I strongly feel that Abe and myself having failed in our responsibilities as leaders to prevent the party from internal crisis that denied young party faithful the opportunity to express themselves politically as we have done for this length of time, we have no moral justification to cause further trouble”.
I have not failed, I will continue to speak the truth and the truth will prevail. I am happy that Senator Uchendu has finally come to the realization that he failed in his duty as a leader to tell the truth and stand by what is right and just.
His failure and manifest inability to behave as a father and a leader is at the heart of the crisis that continues to bedevil the APC in Rivers State.
Finally, Chief Uchendu talked about me misleading my supporters not to re-validate their membership. Chief Uchendu must have realized by now that my supporters just like his own son are not robots. I do not just have supporters, I have partners and we are all on the same page. They do not need me to tell them, they can all see that if the APC in Rivers State continues on the path of impunity and deceit it will arrive nowhere.
Members of the party have not been allowed to participate or benefit from the party in the state since the leader declared at the Dome meeting in Chief Uchendu’s presence that they were no longer members of the party, contrary to the constitution of the party.
When they paid for forms to participate in the party congresses, they were summarily excluded by the Minister of Transportation for supporting Senator Abe, and Senator Uchendu could not open his mouth as a leader to say it was wrong.
These are the people that Senator Uchendu expects to go and revalidate their membership as part of the circus now going on in the APC in Rivers state. What has Uchendu done as a leader to assure them that things will be different this time around?
I deceive my supporters if I behave like Chief Andrew Uchendu who will say one thing and do a different thing. You deceive people when you lie to them, you cannot deceive people by telling them the truth. I have not revalidated my membership because I want to receive clear and unambiguous assurances from the party that we will be treated differently this time around.
Chief Uchendu can say whatever he likes but the APC has a choice to make in Rivers State. We can continue to wobble like drunken sailors on horseback, or we can address the issues bedeviling the party with honesty and humility, and find a way forward.
The choice is open to us all. For me if “I see something”, I will say something. I have no apologies to offer for speaking the truth.” said Senator Abe who is believed to be a man of God