Yesterday friday 12th October, Protesters from Rivers State, marched on the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, imploring Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) to respect court orders in trying to resolve the crisis in its Rivers chapter. Recall that members of the APC in Niger State had, on Wednesday, protested at the national secretariat over what they alleged were irregularities that saw persons who did not win the primaries being declared to fly the party’s flag. The protesters were led by Amb Anosike Odowa, Hon Bethel Oko Jaja and Hon Onyeche Uloma. This is also as senator representing Rivers South East, Magnus Abe, has lamented the festering crisis in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noting that the possibility of putting an end to it was uncertain as a result of the continued reign of impunity and disregard for dissenting views by some leaders of the party in the state. In a statement issued on his behalf by Kennedy Friday of the Kairos Media Group, yesterday, the senator also dismissed allegations that he was being sponsored by the state governor, Nyesom Wike to destabilise the party.
Addressing the media, Odowa said; “the indirect primaries conducted by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has been voided and in law cannot stand. He warned the APC to be wary of repeating the same mistake it did in Zamfara, which led the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to bar it from fielding candidates for the next general elections. “If APC wants to win Rivers State, then Magnus Abe is the governor of Rivers State. We will stop at nothing, we will fight our last strength to ensure that justice must prevail. We are stakeholders in this party and I will advise the National Chairman to be upright and Amaechi should stop pushing him, this party is not Amaechi Peoples Party, it is All Progressives Congress party not Amaechi’s personal property. We want to ask that the National Chairman should live up to expectation and do the right thing. We know him to be a man who is upright but he should not allow his integrity to be questioned in this matter. Rivers State is for direct primaries and Magnus Abe emerged winner of the direct primaries”.
In his statement, Senator Abe said: “The crisis in Rivers APC began long before Sen Abe’s thanksgiving to which Gov Wike, along with other governors, senators and ministers attended. The foundation of the crisis in the party is intolerance of dissenting views, impunity, high-handedness and lack of respect for others. Other causes include, disregard for all rules and laws including the constitution of the party and even orders of courts of competent jurisdiction. Until this is addressed the crisis will continue and singing Wike as a song will not change anything. “Our attention has been drawn to a statement issued by Mr Chris Finebone, whose election as publicity secretary of Rivers APC has been nullified by the judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction, spewing fire and brimstone against a judicial officer and the court of law. The statement also attempted to retool a tired and monotonous blackmail of an imagined collaboration between Sen Magnus Abe and Gov Nyesom Wike. “This same tendency and inclination to become a law unto themselves, thrive in impunity, intimidate everyone with contrary opinion, disobey lawful orders and trample on the will of the people is the very root of the challenges confronting Rivers APC today. Instead of allowing for a moment of introspection, Chris Finebone and his sponsors are scavenging everywhere looking for people to blame for the problems they themselves created.
“It’s a known fact today that many state chapters of APC across the nation are mired in crisis, with many cases in court arising from same attitude demonstrated by the leader of Rivers APC to subdue the voices of the people. Are all those cases also instituted in collaboration with Gov Nyesom Wike? Was it Gov Nyesom Wike who collaborated with the Minister of Transportation to exclude thousands of Rivers APC faithful who paid money to the party to participate in the congresses? Was it Governor Wike who instructed the minister to order security agents to open fire on innocent APC members who were protesting their exclusion from participating in the congresses? Or did the minister collaborate with Wike by hijacking materials for APC congresses to INTELS camp in Port Harcourt away from the reach of party faithful?