Highlights

DON’T DO IT, ABE

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I like to think that Senator Abe is a class act and would not fall for this SUV misappropriation. If he accepts a Landcruiser from the man he wants to oust from Govt House, it will prove that he does not want the governorship as much as the incumbent. PMB proved that he was more determined than Jonathan by turning down even most of his pension as a former head of state.

People who are going on about how other governors did the same for National Assembly members miss the point. Those members were not plotting to face Odili in a governorship tussle. None of them was a serious contender for the governorship. Is it just coincidental to remember that the Rivers APP to which Senator Abe belonged and led died in the first term of Odili’s generousity and by the second term the legislature became a one party affair until Amaechi’s nemesis took away the Rivers PDP from him.

For the past month or so, Abe’s National Assembly stalwarts have been flirting with Gov. Wike and it seemed as if the attack was directed at Rotimi Amaechi’s blood pressure. Most recently, they gleefully took their brand new Landcruisers and promptly landed Senator Abe in a moral dilemma. Is it impossible that High Tension may have scripted this unfolding plot to emasculate the wild card Abe.

There are two APC senators in Rivers State. Senator Andrew Uchendu’s loyalty to the state party leader Rotimi Amaechi makes the cruiser unacceptable. It is already obvious from the way Abe’s social media soldiers are going on that the Greek gift is welcome. Obviously, it will be given without the publicity which attended the earlier release of these machines to the Rivers APC MHRs.

If Senator Abe takes the SUV, he will lose the moral high ground to Amaechi, the sense of integrity and public spirit with which his spin doctors have clothed him would be shredded. He will take a place in the dungeon of contempt which a lot of APC stalwarts have built for those APC legislators who have been the most forthcoming in this Wike embrace.

Perception is more important than factuality in politics. Taking gifts worth tens of millions of naira from your political opponent raises questions about one’s intentions. It can mean settlement. It can mean a loss of determination to fight on. It can mean concession to the inevitable. It does not mean the absence of bitterness but the watering down of principles. It can mean profaning a cause, betraying a cause, figuratively sleeping with the enemy. It would be difficult for many to continue to see Senator Abe as a serious governorship contender after he receives this inducement from Wike. If I was Rotimi Amaechi, I would be praying that Abe should take the SUV. Then I will call the Rivers APC together, spread my hands and say ‘I told you so.’

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