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Rivers: Amaechi, Abe groups clash at APC delegates’ primaries

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Sun Newspaper
Confusion has trailed the All Progressives Congress (APC) delegates primaries, held yesterday across Rivers State. Though, it was reportedly gathered that elections took place in some local government areas, the situation was different in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

While many APC supporters gathered at the party’s secretariat along Forces Avenue, Old GRA, Port Harcourt apparently waiting for the national leadership and voting materials, the faction loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, allegedly gathered at Novotel Hotel.

Tight security was put in place at the hotel, and supporters of the Senator representing Rivers South East senatorial district, Magnus Abe, who stormed the place, did not have access to the venue.

The situation stirred more tension as Abe’s supporters chanted “All we are saying, give us Magnus”, and resisted attempts of armed security men to vacate the premises.

A faction of the party loyal to Sen. Abe boycotted the congress on grounds of suspicion of manipulation of the delegate lists and as well rejected the results. While supporters of Abe were protesting, the group loyal to Amaechi had gone ahead with the election and returned three delegates elected in each of the LGAs.

Around 8a.m., hundreds of supporters of Abe had stormed the state party secretariat to pick materials for the congress, but were hinted that the National Convention Committee of APC sent to the state to conduct the election was already in a hotel manipulating the result of the congress election.

The APC members, led by Sen. Abe, House of Representatives members elected under the party, Hon. Barinada Mpigi and Elder Chidi Wihioka and former Chief of Staff to Amaechi, Tony Okocha, demanded that the national delegates must come down and tell them at the hotel why they had not shared the materials for the election.

They accused the committee members, who were locked in their tinted cars of trying to move the manipulated result in favour of Amaechi to Abuja without meeting with the people, adding that the result would not stand.

After two hours of the protest, the pro-Amaechi group which was proceeding with the election at the 23 local government areas of the state had already concluded in Obio/Akpor LGA and  returned Lawrence Chuku, Chikordi Dike and Madame Beatrice Wogunka, Etche LGA: Nnamdi Okere, Golden Chioma and Mrs. Cilecilia Mmeni, Emohua: Sampson Agbaru, Allen Nma, and Mrs.  Otonah, Ikwerre LGA:  Chibike Ikenga,  Control Asobi and Mrs. Onyinye and others.  Speaking at the hotel, Wihioka disclosed that there has been deep crisis and divisions in the party, maintaining that a result that favours only a faction of the party would not stand.

Wihioka said: “The situation is that there is no material for the Congress. They have finished filling the result sheet from Abuja and they want to go back to Abuja to submit it, while people are waiting at the party office to get the material but they were not there. We now located them here. Now they passed through back door, they must address us.

“There is no election anywhere in the state. They should come down from the car and tell us what is happening. They should tell us what happened to the materials, tell us why they did not go to the field to distribute the material, tell us why they did not disclose names of those to handle the election at the LGAs to us and where the collation will take place.

“There is foul play already. If there is none, why will they be going through the back door. The party is divided into different groups, but what we are saying is that they should allow the right thing to be done.”

Abe who also spoke at the hotel said: “I don’t understand what is going on in this party. This is not what we expect to see in the All Progressives Congress.

We have been at the party secretariat since morning waiting for members of the convention committee from Abuja, to come and distribute the material to the LGA, but we heard that people were here filling in the result sheets in a hotel, while all party leaders were at the office. As it is, it has turned out to be true. This is an embarrassment to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I am sure that the whole country is aware of what’s going on here. We promised Nigerians change and we cannot change the country, if we don’t change our own behaviour. I am glad that across this country the APC has shown great capacity to conduct matters in a manner that is conducive with the principal of internal democracy.”

Sunday Sun gathered that after hours of the protest, the state police command intervened and took the delegates, Abe and some of his supporters to the state police headquarters for settlement.
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