From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Senator Magnus Abe’s faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has insisted that there would be no congresses in the state if the party leaders at the national fails to address the issues that led to the APC not participated in the 2016 general elections in the state.
This was resolved at the party’s stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt led by the Rivers state APC chairman, Prince Peter Odike.
It would be recalled that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had appointed a 5-member executive caretaker committee for the Rivers State chapter of the party. The caretaker committee was to oversee the Party’s affairs in the state ahead of its propose congresses in the state.
Stakeholders of the party yesterday at the meeting condemned the moves by the APC National Working Committee to plan the congresses without attempting to solve the problems on ground. The APC members believed that the NWC is dancing to the tune of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Speaking at the meeting, the immediate past Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe, noted the challenge face by the state APC is caused by the members at the state level and should be tackled likewise.
He said if there is a genuine reconciliation, “We can create a party that can work for Rivers State”, stressing that the Odike’s led APC which the court recognised will not participate in the purported process by the party’s NWC.
On his part, Senator Wilson Ake, noted that Amaechi remains the party’s leader at the state level, but regretted that the Minister of Transportation is on alleged selfish moves in his position at state level.
To the NWC, Ake said “We have lost election twice in the state and now we reconstruction move first discussing plans for congresses. The party’s NWC is supposed yo bring every members together and not to ignore the voice of some members’.
Meanwhile, at the end of the meeting, the party’s stakeholders resolved “That as critical stakeholders of the Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress 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 challenge of Rivers APC before the 2019 elections were all rebuffed by the Minister if Transportation Rt. Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, meaning that all well intended efforts came to nothing.
“We note with concern that the party is yet again threading 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.
“Therefore, we will not take part in the congresses announced by Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, and sanctioned by the National Working Committee of the party for the reasons that we were not consulted and all the issues raised by the various judicial pronouncements, and the internal contradictions within the party in Rivers State, have neither been addressed nor resolved. There appears to be no political will to tackle these issues in order to rebuild the party in Rivers state”.