With less than four months to the 2019 general elections, it is uncertain if the All Progressives Congress (APC) will field Governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly candidates in Rivers State.
This situation is not unconnected with the ongoing legal tussle between the APC and 23 aggrieved members of the party in Rivers State. The aggrieved members, led by Ibrahim Ima, are challenging their exclusion from the party’s Ward, Local Government and State congresses.
On October 22, 2018, the Supreme Court set aside a Stay of Execution Order, granted by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division to the APC, against an Interlocutory Order of a Rivers State High Court presided over by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu on July 21, 2018.
Recall that Justice Nwogu, in a judgement delivered on October 10, 2018, nullified all the congresses conducted by the APC. The matter is presently before the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt.
At the just concluded primaries in the state, the Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led APC, which is recognised by the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, elected Pastor Tony’s Cole as its gubernatorial candidate while the Prince Peter Odike-led faction produced Senator Magnus Ngei Abe.
While the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is backing the Flag-Amachree-led APC, Abe is believed to be behind the Odike-led faction of the party.
The two factions of the APC operate separate state secretariats, both located along Aba Road in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Social media influencers on both sides of the divide, who are mostly young people, are not helping matters as they engage in use of derogatory words against elder statesmen and prominent leaders of the party on both sides without being cautioned.
The use of propaganda to achieve results by both sides has only succeeded in further dividing the leading opposition political party in Rivers State.
Also, leaders of the APC from both sides of the divide, have allowed external forces to decide the fate of the party, which we view as a dangerous path to follow ahead of the 2019 general elections in Rivers State.
We believe that the present situation within the ranks of the APC in Rivers State, needs political, rather than legal solution.
Therefore, we appeal to the two major arrowheads in the crisis within the party, Amaechi, who is the leader of the APC in the state, and Abe, to think towards seeking political solution to this situation.
We believe that the duo command a lot of respect and influence among APC members and supporters and should use their position to bring the much needed peace within the party.
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