By Sylvanus Okpe
The crises which rocked the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the build up to the 2019 general elections which led to the disqualification of the party seems to have slid to a worse dimension as a faction of the party led by Senator Magnus Abe dared the National Working Committee of the party over plans to hold congresses in the state.
The aggrieved members, in a 9-point communique read by former Attorney General of the state, Wogu Boms said, “as critical stakeholders of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who toiled and sweated under very difficult and dangerous circumstances to build the party in Rivers State, we are appalled and dismayed by the current situation of the party in the State.
“That Nigerians are aware that the crisis in Rivers APC was set off by the manner in which last congresses were deliberately mismanaged in 2018, resulting in catastrophic and unprecedented consequences for the party.
“That various efforts by different leaders of the party across the nation to find a solution to the challenges of Rivers APC before the 2019 elections were all rebuffed by the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, meaning that all well-intended efforts came to nothing”.
“We note with concern that the party is yet again treading the same route of exclusion and disdain for the rights and feelings of party members that plunged the Rivers chapter of the APC into needless crisis resulting in the party being denied participation in the last general elections in Rivers State.
“That as critical stakeholders, and bearing in mind the circumstances of Rivers APC, we were not consulted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in its decision to appoint a caretaker committee in Rivers State nor does the Committee reflect the diversity of the party in the state. The so called caretaker committee members are simply cronies of the Minister of Transportation, their objective and purpose is clear, they were parties and participants in the actions that brought the party to its knees in Rivers State. Apart from being unknown to the constitution, by all rules of justice and fairness they cannot provide a solution to our present challenges.
“We, therefore, reject the caretaker committee as it is clearly an orchestration to deepen the woes of the party, and we urge all members of the APC in Rivers State to remain steadfast in the pursuit of justice.
“Based on extant judicial pronouncements, and the report of the Governor Lalong Committee as adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party which stated clearly that where congress could not hold, the existing executives were to manage the affairs of the party; Chief Peter Odike by the rules of the Party should have been consulted as Chairman of the APC in Rivers State.”
In his reaction, Senator Magnus Abe promises to stand firm and be relentless in the fight against injustice and wrongdoings in the Party.
“I want to thank each and everyone of you for the spirit you have exhibited. A party that has this kind of committed and dedicated cannot die. Nobody can kill it,” he said.