TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY MEMBERS OF THE STATE WORKING COMMITTEE( SWC) OF RIVERS APC TODAY THE 18TH OF JUNE, 2018, AT PORT HARCOURT, CAPITAL OF RIVERS STATE
Gentlemen of the press.
APC RIVERS SHOULD NOT DIE- NOT EVEN BY SUICIDE
The above is my caption of the address I am presenting to you this morning, Monday 18 June 2018 at this brief Press Conference.
As you are very much aware, the APC Congress in Rivers State has been mired in controversy culminating in two (2) Court Orders which were roundly disobeyed by the Ojukaye faction of the Party led by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, CON.
The facts and the controversy leading to where we are now, are already well known to the public. We state them briefly.
Party members desirous of contesting various positions in the Party, paid for nomination forms to enable them participate and contest various positions in the Congress. With their tellers, they went to the Party Secretariat to obtain, fill and return the forms but were denied the forms.
Many gathered to protest the denial and were called thugs and teargased by the Police called in by the Leader of the party.
Left with no option, they filed a suit, 23 of them, challenging their unlawful exclusion and praying for injunction to restrain the Party from holding the Congress without them, having paid for the forms.
The State High Court was besieged by a motley crowd which sought to prevent it from sitting. Gates of the Courts of Justice were locked. It took the intervention of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Police, to dislodge them to enable the Court do its work. Eventually, the Ruling was delivered, restraining our Party from holding the LGA Congress.
The very next day after the Ruling which was the day of the prohibited election, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, the DG of NIMASA and a political protégé of the Minister of Transportation, who is the leader of the Party, stated publicly on Rhythm Radio F.M 93.7 anchored by Segun Owolabi that the Congress would go on despite the Court Order. This was despite the fact that the APC lawyer was in court and also participated in the proceedings that gave rise to the injunction.
True to their threat of disobeying the Order, they proceeded with the congress.
Later, on their own still, they cancelled the Congress, rescheduled all and held them in a succession of weekend days of Saturday, Sunday and early Monday.
They now claim that Ojukaye Flag Amachree is the new Party Chairman arising from the said weekend-midnight congress.
Our Party faithful which went to court to protest their unlawful exclusion, returned to court to complain of the illegality of holding the congress in defiance of the Order of the court. They urged the court to void the obviously illegal exercise. The court did.
In no uncertain words, the court declared as null and void the purported Ward, LGA and State Congresses which produced Ojukaye Flag Amachree and his group.
With the voiding of the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree midnight congress, our State Working Committee which they sought to succeed is still in place and intact.
In one sentence: we are the State Working Committee and Exco of the APC in Rivers State.
This is the main reason we have called you. Our party cannot be in any administrative vacuum.
Since the court has decided that no congresses have been held with the voiding of the so called congresses, the Dr. Davis Ikanya led-Exco will continue with its work of running the Party.
The chairman, Dr. Davis Ikanya is in London, UK, for his eyes medical examination and treatment. I communicated with him on this development over the weekend. I wish him speedy recovery.
By the Party constitution, the Deputy Chairman acts pending his resumption.
Other members of the Working Committee and I have met. We agreed that we should not allow APC Rivers State to die; not even by suicide.
Consequently, I announce to you this Morning that I, Prince Peter Odike, JP, the Deputy Chairman of the Party in Rivers State, pending the return and resumption of duty by the chairman, is the Acting Chairman of the APC Rivers State.
I appeal to all to be calm and work towards restoring calm and law and order and unity in the Party to face the greater challenge of returning the Party to power in next year election.
His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, CON, the Hon Minister of Transportation, remains the leader of the Party as no one is contesting that.
What anyone is free to contest is who flies the Party’s flag in the various positions under the party in next year general election, in particular, who becomes our gubernatorial candidate. The minister is not a candidate for the office of the governor in the election as he is constitutionally-barred.
We therefore see no reason to tear down our party under whatever circumstances in that regard. At the appropriate time, anyone who feels he is qualified will be allowed to pick the form and participate and the people will decide. That is the way political parties are run all over the world. We promise a level-playing-ground for all.
Soon, we shall invite all members of the Exco to a meeting on the continuing way forward.
By a separate letter, we have advised the National Office of our party, in particular the Chairman, of these developments. We shall publish that letter for all to see.
We urge all to toe the path of constitutionalism and adherence to Law and Order and shun yielding to the dictates of one man or a section no matter how highly placed. This is the true way for our party’s greatness.
Our party in Rivers State should not be allowed to die – not even by suicide.
Thank you all and God bless.
I am your loyal servant:
Prince Peter Odike JP
Ag. Chairman, APC Rivers State.