Disturbed by the increasing spate of lawlessness and impunity in Rivers State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has directed its members in the National Assembly to block all proposals by the Presidency, until the rule of law is restored to the state.
The stern measures include blockage of the consideration of the 2014 Budget, consideration of ministerial nominees and confirmation of new service chiefs, among others. The decision was reached at the party’s Eight Interim National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja.
At the meeting attended by its key leaders, governors and lawmakers, the party said if the lawlessness in Rivers State continues, “it will have no alternative than to ask our members all over the country to take whatever steps to protect their lives and property”.
It accused the Presidency of promoting the impunity in Rivers State being executed by the Commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu, who has become the defacto military governor of the state.
In the communique, which was read to reporters in Abuja by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC said enough is enough in Rivers State.
The communique said: “Any cursory observer of events in Rivers State since February, 2013 will be left in no doubt as to the culture of lawlessness and impunity being promoted and supported by the Presidency, and executed by the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who has become the defacto military governor of Rivers State and sole administrator of the PDP in the state.
“A few instances of the brazen lawlessness and violations of the Constitution will suffice here – the forceful dispersal of 13,201 newly recruited teachers in the Port Harcourt Stadium, using tear gas; blockading the entrance to the Government House in Port Harcourt and forcing the governor to use another entrance; preventing an aircraft chartered by the governor from taking off, alleging that the governor was trying to smuggle out a legislator wanted by the police (no apology was offered to the Governor), the disruption of a peaceful rally during which Senator Magnus Abe was shot with intent to kill; the several disruptions of Save Rivers Group rallies, and the unlawful detention of anybody perceived to be a sympathiser of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, while allowing pro-Jonathan and anti-Amaechi groups to organise rallies unmolested.
“The National Executive Committee of the APC has now resolved that if these acts of impunity and lawlessness continue unabated and the Police persist in being an enforcement arm of the PDP to the detriment of our members, it will have no alternative than to ask our members all over the country and especially in Rivers State to take whatever steps that are necessary to protect their lives and property.
“Following on the foregoing and in view of the joint resolutions of the National Assembly on Rivers State, and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the APC directs its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative proposals, including the 2014 Budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions to public office until the rule of law and constitutionalism is restored in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria.
The session praised Governor Rotimi Amaechi for his steadfastness in the face of intimidation and use of federal might.
The communique added: “The National Executive Committee of the APC commended the courage, maturity and political sagacity of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in the face of serial unprovoked and unwarranted assault on his person, his constitutional rights and those of the government and people of Rivers State.
“The conduct of Governor Amaechi represents our party’s maturity and compliance with the rule of law in response to escalating impunity. The APC is proud of him. “
At the session were General Muhammadu Buhari(rtd), Bola Tinubu, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the governors of Rivers, Lagos, Edo, Nasarawa, Kwara, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Sokoto,Ekiti,Ogun and the deputy governors of Oyo, Imo, Kano and Zamfara states.
Others were ex-Governor Segun Osoba, ex-Governor Kabiru Gaya, Tom Ikimi, ex-Speaker Aminu Bello Masari, Senator Ahmed Yerima, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Abu Ibrahim, Senator George Akume, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, was attended by members of the Interim National Executive Committee along with the leadership of the APC in the two chambers of the National Assembly.