Rivers APC factions disagree on local council elections
By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt
As the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) prepare for the conduct of local government elections which it has proposed for April 2021, the two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC),as usual are disagreeing on whether the party should or should not participate in the exercise.
While the Abbot Ogbobula, faction said to be loyal to theTransportation Minister Chibuike Amaechi has stated that it would not participate in the election, the opposition faction, led by Golden Ben-Chioma as Caretaker Committee chairman and loyal to Sen. Magnus Abe has urged its member interested in the election to proceed to purchase forms to participate in the third tire election.
While the Ogbobula faction said the priority of the group is to re-organise the party and moblise membership for future party politics in the state the Ben-Chioma said its members were ready to join the fray to produce chairman and councilors who would run the affairs of state from the local councils in the next three years.
Their position is also supported by their main leader Sen. Magnus Abe who came out with a statement on Thursday urging members of the APC to feel free to participate in the polls while urging the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike to justify his free and fair election mantra by giving the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RESIEC), a free hand to conduct, free and credible polls.
He objected to some dissenting voices in the All Progressives Congress (APC) that wanted members to boycott the election, insisting that political parties were formed as a vehicle whereby, members could aspire and be elected to serve their people and condemned such insinuation as counterproductive.
“The fact that we have different political parties does not mean that we are suddenly, no longer Rivers people. It is not correct, and that is not how to grow the state”, he stated.
The Senator who represented the Rivers South East Senatorial Districtat the 8th Senate added; “If we don’t come out to participate, how dowe tell the world that the election was free or fair? How do we saywhat was wrong with an election we refused to take part? How do wemake elections better in Rivers State if we don’t come out and participate?
“The requirement to contest in an election is that you should be a member of a political party and we are members of the All ProgressivesCongress (APC), and therefore eminently qualified to contest in the elections in Rivers State. It is our State.The purpose of election is to serve the people. If they pick our people, they should be allowed to serve”.
“We are challenging the governor of Rivers State to organize the election in the way he said he wanted elections to be organized and let Rivers people go out and contest. Test their popularity for the people to decide on those they want to run the affairs at the grassroots. That’s the purpose of politics”.
“We are challenging the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission(RSIEC) to make the election free and fair, let Rivers people go out and contest.I want to encourage any politician who wants to aspire to an office;this is the time for you to test your teeth. Even though you don’twin, at the end of the day you learn valuable lessons on how to plan,organize, and grow in your political career”.
He however, vowed to continue in the pursuit of justice in the APC inorder to promote a better model of politics in Nigeria”.