By Omeiza Ajayi
The National Working Committee NWC of the All Progressives Congress APC has inaugurated a caretaker committee to run its affairs in Rivers state and unite the different tendencies in the party.
The committee which will assist the party hierarchy to organize Congresses in the state has the burden of resolving issues between the two factions loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Sen. Magnus Abe.
National chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, while inaugurating the five-man panel on Monday, said the party needed a state-based organ to build a structure that will ensure smooth congresses in the state.
According to Oshiomhole, the committee’s first task is to ensure total reconciliation of the divisions within the party in Rivers state.
He also urged the committee to put the interest of the party first in managing its affairs within the period, saying the committee members should set aside their interests.
While Barr. Isaac Abott Ogbobula would chair the committee, Mr. Baridon Badom would serve as Secretary. Members are Mr. Friday Kinika Owhor, Mrs. Beatrice Amobi and Prince Abolo Stephen.
Oshiomhole said: “Accordingly, the NWC decided to approve a caretaker committee that will be on the ground to assist those who are coming to ensure that we have hitch-free conduct of all the congresses.
“You have a very simple task, but also a very complicated one. You are assuming office as caretaker committee members at a time when we have huge internal fighting within the APC. Your first task must include trying to build bridges across the divides within the APC family in Rivers state.
“We will also look at the possibility of sending some high-level mediation to ensure that all the forces within the party in the state see the need to work together so that by the time we conduct the congresses, it will be seen as a peaceful, transparent family affair in line with the tradition of the APC.
“As a progressive party, we cannot afford to build a house that is not based on popular participation and politics is about people. The more you are on the ground, the more transparent you handle your affairs, the more likely you are going to have people claiming ownership of the process by members and leaders of the party.
“Once you open your mind and commit yourself to ensure that we have a process that would produce an outcome that people will be happy with, you would have done your job. It just requires you managing your own biases.
“I do not think that there is a better teacher than yourself about a damage a party can suffer if it chooses to fight to finish and refused to toe the path of reconciliation, mediation, and the spirit of giving and take. You have paid a huge price. The important thing is that at the end of the day, the majority would have their say and we proceed to work and ensuring that we deliver on the commitment we made to our people.
“So, I hope that the huge setbacks that we have suffered in Rivers state may well be the ingredients we need not to the part that will lead us to another perpetual house that will be divided against itself.
“So, I ask you to put the interests of the party first, the interests of the party second and the interests of the party last. Your friendship and opinion must be down-played for this bigger interest to manifest.”
Responding, the chairman of the caretaker committee, Barr. Ogbobula, assured that his leadership will run the affairs of the party smoothly and provide local logistics towards achieving local and state congresses.
He appealed to all party members and the various interests within the party to cooperate with his committee to discharge its mandate creditably.