- Warns Buhari, NEC to stop APC South West leaders hobnobbing with Wike
- Accuses Buhari of neglect of Rivers APC
- They’re being honest -Giadom
By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
ALL Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state has sent warning shots to President Mohammadu Buhari, the party’s presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the National Executive Council, urging them to address their grievances or lose their participation in next year’s presidential election.
At an interactive session convened by the party’s National Vice Chairman, South-South, Victor Giadom, Sunday night in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, stakeholders accused the party leaders of working against the interest of Rivers APC by their actions and inactions.
In the no holds barred outpouring of pains, Legal Adviser to Rivers APC, Dike Zubi, told Giadom, himself a Rivers son, that, “It is very discouraging for APC in Rivers to see the Presidential candidate of the APC, Tinubu, and his loyalists, including South West governors of the party and Speaker of the House of Reps, begin to hobnob and hold nocturnal meetings with Governor Nyesom Wike who is the main antagonist of APC in Rivers.
“We frown at such actions. It doesn’t encourage us here. We see it as anti-party on the side of Tinubu and his cohorts who instead of coming to strengthen APC in Rivers, are seen hobnobbing with the Governor of Rivers who is a PDP member. It is an affront to APC Rivers and anti-party.
“My call is to the National Chairman and President Mohammadu Buhari, to call the presidential candidate to order. He should stop dividing APC in Rivers state for his own personal interest. APC in Rivers is on the family.”
Chief Sydney Nyechie, Chairman APC Obio Akpor Local Government Area said, “We are toiling day and night to ensure come 2023 Rivers APC take over Rivers, then South West APC governors and the Speaker of Reps will come to Rivers to say they are commissioning projects and be singing praises of Governor Wike.
“By doing that they are ridiculing us before Wike and Rivers people. Those people (Rivers APC South West leaders) have no business coming to the state to romance with Governor Nyesom Wike. The embarrassment we are receiving from APC leaders at national is too much. We will not take it.”
Nyechie, chiding President Buhari added, “From 2015 we lost members, killed due to election violence against us. I was attacked and stripped at Okrika. Whether we won in Rivers or not we contributed our own quarter to Buhari becoming President. Buhari did not one day tell Rivers APC sorry for what happened. We were left like orphans.
“Because of personal differences with Wike, my office, a three-story building was levelled. I will be in this state suffering for APC and governors from the West or Reps Speaker will come to Rivers and be praise singing and negotiating with Wike. Tell the national chairman that Rivers people are saying enough is enough. This level of embarrassment has become too much.”
Ininasiya West, APC candidate, Akuku Toru/Asari Toru Federal Constituency told the convener, “I’m particularly concerned that Sen Magnus Abe, even after leaving the party to be SDP guber candidate, still has the authority and mandate of the APC presidential candidate.
“Tinubu cannot be sitting on the fence in Rivers anymore. He should come out and say where he belongs so that we who are still in the party know how we move. We are here, ready to win the election. Tinubu must make a clear statement on Rivers.
“Another concern is there are various court cases against Rivers APC candidates by Wike, hiding under PDP, again trying to win through the backdoor. You are aware he is pressuring the court to remove the party from the ballots as we suffered in 2019.
“I don’t know how the APC national has taken this. Perhaps the nation has been blowing Wike’s trumpet and the man feels it is in support for him to go on with the matter. We want nation to be proactive. Let us not wait to take steps only after the deed has been done.”
Chizy Enyi Eze, Chief of Staff to Rivers APC Chairman, said, “That APC was not on the ballot in 2019 was because of the national leadership. When the legal battle started, we (Rivers APC) were fully represented and then the national chairman debriefed our lawyer.
“When Adams Oshiomhole, then chairman, debriefed our lawyer, the lawyer they sent from Abuja in collaboration with Magnus Abe accepted all the pleas the applicants raised in the court. When he accepted the court gave judgement against us and that was the beginning and the end of our not participating in the 2019 elections.
“It has started again on legal issues. Please tell our national chairman not to debrief our lawyer again so that we will be on the ballot. Because the minute they debrief us, we will not be on the ballot again.
Ibim Semenitari (Rivers information commissioner under the Amaechi government) resigned from APC after the presidential primary. Today, she is on the campaign cancel.”
Capping the grievances, Rivers APC Chairman, Chief Emeke Beke, said,
You people (APC National) asked us to nominate five names to the presidential campaign council. None of the names we (Rivers APC) sent appeared in the list, because they don’t like Rotimi Amaechi. In the zone, none appeared.
“Wike dines with leaders of our party. 48hours APC Rivers adopted a candidate (after being removed from the ballot in 2019). 7 am to noon, 17 local government areas have been won by Awara, (then AA guber candidate). Some people we are talking about today connived with Late Abba Kyari to stop Rivers APC not to win that election because we don’t like one man.
“Please we urge the National chairman that Rivers state bought forms worth over One Billion Naira and we are requesting that they should remit to the state 25 per cent of what we generated through the sale of the forms.
“If the money is not remitted to the state they should forget about coming to the state to canvass for the presidential candidate. We will vote for our National Assembly candidates, and then put our focus on the governorship and assembly candidates of the state and we will win.
“If the national body does not listen to us, we will take our destiny into our hands. The national body needs to support us if not we will not support them. We are loyal party men and we believe in the leadership of the party at the top but they should support us.”
Responding to the feedback, the South-South National Vice Chairman, Giadom said, “Everything that has been said here is true. This is where I come from. I know we are passing through very very tough times. People who are supposed to be your opponent, your party people are in a meeting with that opponent. It’s painful.
“It was a very honest interaction where stakeholders had to bare their minds on the pains and what they are passing through in Rivers APC. The reason we are here is to collate these challenges in the aim to provide solutions to them.
“We have come, listen and heard them clearly. We will put all together and report to the national leadership in Abuja, to ensure we find solutions to all the things we know will help us win the elections in Rivers.
“I know the pains of my people which is also our collective pain. We were not on the ballot in 2019. I was supposed to be a direct beneficiary with a ticket, but the manipulation of the system denied us being part of that ballot.
“So Rivers people have a right to be apprehensive, to be worried, but I assure them by the grace of God, we will be victorious this time around and APC will win Rivers, and form the government in charge of the state.”