The lawmaker representing Rivers South East in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, said on Saturday that the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State failed to hold its congress in the state.
This is as the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Finebone, disagreed with Abe, insisting that the APC congress was successfully held across the state.
These two positions may have exposed the crisis rocking the state APC within the past three months.
Abe explained that recent development in the APC was disturbing, adding that people were said to be filling in result sheets without election.
He described the situation as an embarrassment to the country and maintained that it would be difficult to change the country if personal behaviours were not changed.
“As you can see, there has been no congress in the state. The so-called stakeholders meeting in the state on Friday ended in a fiasco. The committee from the national level has not come to the party’s secretariat on Forces Avenue since morning, yet people have been here.
“Nobody should stay in a hotel and use any list for Rivers people. It is clear there was no congress in the state. Whatever has been done will not stand.”
He further said, “We heard that people were filling in the result sheets in a hotel while all party leaders were in the office. This is an embarrassment to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am sure that the whole country is aware of what’s going on here.
The APC members led by Abe, House of Representatives member elected on the party’s platform, Barinada Mpigi, Chidi Wihioka and Tony Okocha, who is a former aide to Rotimi Amaechi, went to the hotel to ask members of the convention committee to address them there.
They alleged that the team was in the state to rig the congress against Abe ahead of the APC national convention and took the intervention of the state police command, who took the convention committee members and Abe to the command’s headquarters for negotiation, after over four hours of disagreement at the hotel.
However, while the disagreement at the hotel was going on, the pro-Amaechi members of the party were reportedly holding the election in the 23 local government areas of the state.
Some of the results showed that in Obio/Akpor LGA, Lawrence Chuku, Chikordi Dike and Madame Beatrice Wogunka emerged as delegates, while in Etche LGA, Nnamdi Okere, Golden Chioma and Mrs. Cilecilia Mmeni, emerged as delegates.
In Emohua LGA, Sampson Agbaru, Allen Nma, and Mrs. Otonah were among those elected during the congress.
Spokesperson for the Rivers APC, Finebone, said it was wrong for anybody to say that there was no party congress in the state on Saturday.
“I know that the party chairman and some officials of the party were engaged and that made them not to go round the way they would have loved to do. The constituents and delegates were there and most importantly, INEC was there.
“That they were not able to move around does not mean that the congress did not hold. There is no result written anywhere. Congresses held across the state,” Finebone said.
Also, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, lauded the state chapter of the APC for the conduct of a non-elective congress and election of delegates for the party’s forthcoming national convention.
Peterside, who commended party leaders and supporters at various levels and congress officials for conducting a hitch-free exercise, noted that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi,and the state party executives exhibited sound leadership in achieving transparent coordination of the congress.