Embattled All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, on Monday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly call warring party members in the state to order.
Abe who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja also said that they were forced to go to court when it became clear that “all internal conflict resolution processes within the party had been compromised at the alter of individual power.”
The Rivers South East senator noted that it was at the point of the realization that the internal conflict resolution within the party had been allegedly compromised that a decision was taken to advise aggrieved members of the party to head to the court and seek the intervention of the court.
He noted that the need to appeal to President Buhari to intervene in the crisis became necessary in order to ensure that the party was not surrendered to “men without conscience.”
The APC, he said, must distance itself from “the show of shame that is currently going on in River State.”
On accusation that he was working with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to destabilize APC in the state, Abe noted that it was public knowledge that his dealings with the governor has been in the open and in the best interest of the APC to help douse tension in the state and minimize violence.
Abe who titled his briefing “The APC must distance itself from the show of shame going on Rivers state.” Stated in part: “I have decided to address you this afternoon because it has become clear that my party the All Progressive Congress has reached a point where it must take a decision either to live up to the core values of our leader President Muhammadu Buhari and do the right thing or abandon our values and destroy our soul in other to please man.
“You will recollect that I briefed the press before the ward congresses in Rivers State where I stated publicly, that the confusion that was deliberately being set in Rivers state was nothing other than an attempt to display the raw power of man, to destroy and exclude all those who have expressed disagreement with the leader of the party in the state.
“The South South caucus of the party had met at the home of the Minister of Transportation, (Chibuike Amaech) in Abuja and directed that certain steps be taken by the leaders in the states to build confidence in the process before the congresses should begin.
“First it was agreed that an all-inclusive meeting be called between Thursday and Friday preceding the ward congresses.
“The meeting was to include all tendencies in the party and the modalities for congresses be discussed and agreed upon. It was also directed that the congress committee from Abuja should equally meet with all stakeholders on arrival and be briefed on the arrangements and agreements already reached in the state.
“None of this was done in Rivers State rather a faction of the party led by the Minister proceeded with the exercise in total disdain of the rights and privileges of other members. Party members who paid money to the party were blatantly disenfranchised. All protests and appeals fell on deaf ears. After the purported failed exercise
“Another South South caucus meeting was called this time at the home of Minister of State for Petroleum and it was agreed that the rules were not followed in Rivers State and the exercise in Rivers State was not acceptable.
“However in other states where such conclusions were reached the caucus gave clear directives on what should be done to remedy the situation before the local Government congress.
“In the case of Rivers State however it was decided that because it is the home state of the President’s DG of campaign the President should be briefed before any further action can be taken.
“We all knew of the President’s planned travel and the Local Government congresses were set to proceed using the flawed ward congresses as a base.
“At that point it became clear that all internal conflict resolution processes within the party had been compromised at the alter of individual power.
“It was at this point that a decision was taken to advise aggrieved members of the party to head to the court and seek the intervention of the court.
“Members went to court, the state legal adviser who had earlier with some other members of the state working committee held a press conference to say they were not aware of whatever was going on was in court and attested to this facts.
“At this point the other faction now proceeded to circulate a document purportedly suspending the state legal adviser.
“I am a member of the State executive committee no meeting of the state executive committee of the APC has ever been held in Rivers State. When, how and by who was he suspended?
“When all this failed, there was a bizarre decision by the same faction of the APC to blockade the judiciary complex in Rivers state and physically prevent the court from giving its ruling.
“Physical force and arms were mobilized to shut down the judiciary complex, housing over 40 courts including the chief judge’s court, the NBA offices, and others, thousands of people, workers, litigants, were shut out.
“It took a gun battle which has gone viral on social media to reopen the state judiciary. As if this was not enough, after the order was granted and was duly received by the state deputy chairman of the party, the national legal adviser sent one Barrister Tuduru Ede to the court.
“National body was duly informed and the announcement of the order by the deputy chairman was on every radio station in Rivers state every hour.
“The state publicity secretary of the party went one air to give legal reasons why the APC will not obey the order of the court.
“This cannot be APC; this party cannot trade its soul to massage the ego of any individual. An order of the court is an order of the court. There must be a limit to which we can descend in obeisance to power.
“I respectfully call on our president not to surrender our nation to men without conscience, this party must distance itself from the show of shame that is currently going on in Rivers state.
“Finally to those who have accused me of conniving with Governor Nyesom Wike to cause crisis in the APC, let me say publicly that all my dealings with the governor has been public and in the best interest of the APC to help douse tension in the state and minimize violence.
“Let others who belong to the same socio cultural and tribal association with the governor be bold enough to open up to the world the position of their elders, and the various interventions that form foundations for their actions in the APC in Rivers state. In politics sometimes the more you look the less you see.”
Those at the briefing included Senator Wilson Ake, one of the senators who defected to APC during the 7th Senate, Hon. Chidi Frank Wihioka, Ikwere/Emohua Federal Constituency Rivers State and Hon. Maurice Pronen representing Khana/Gokona Federal Constituency Rivers State.