Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it organised a second stakeholders’ meeting with the visiting Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to give groups shut out from Government House the opportunity to submit their presentations.
The party alleged that some groups and communities were not given the opportunity at Government House, Port Harcourt to present their demands on the way forward for their communities and the Niger Delta as a whole when the acting president was received by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Addressing a press conference at Novotel Hotel, Port Harcourt yesterday, office holders, present and former (elected/appointed) members of APC, led by the Deputy National Secretary and Ambassador Designate, Oji Ngofa, said it was wrong to castigate Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, for arranging the second stakeholders meeting.
Ngofa said it was wrong for a group, the Rivers Elders Consultative Council led by a certain Dr. Granville Abiye Georgewill, to criticise Amaechi for holding the meeting after the one held by the state government.
His words: “We note with shock a statement credited to a group that calls itself Rivers Elders Consultative Council led by a certain Dr. Granville Abiye Georgewill where he disparaged the person of our respected leader and mentor, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, for allegedly facilitating a stakeholder meeting during the visit of Osinbajo to the state recently.
“While we are averse to joining issues with nebulous and highly compromised individuals based on our highly principled stance in politics, we can attest that the second stakeholders meeting facilitated by the APC provided veritable platform for groups and ethnic nationalities that were technically shut out from the meeting held in Government House, Port Harcourt to make their presentations for the restoration of peace and development of oil and gas bearing communities in Rivers State. We believe that the public can attest to this and indeed know better than the so-called Rivers Elders Consultative Council can ever do. It is not for us to belabour this matter than to leave it for posterity to judge.
“It was the second meeting facilitated by the APC that provided platform for the people of Etche, Oceania Communities, Ogoni, Okrika, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Civil Society organizations, amongst others, to make their presentations to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”
He commended the Rivers Elders and Leaders Council led by Chief Albert Horsfall for committing to identifying the root cause of disunity and division in the state and pledging to find a lasting solution to it for the benefit of Rivers people.
He restated that the APC in the state was satisfied with the performance of Amaechi as a minister.
“We note with joy that his effort is already bearing fruit as the transportation sector is being given a total turnaround to meet present day expectations. We salute our leader’s vision, tenacity and drive to secure the support of Mr. President and the National Assembly in the building of Calabar – Port Harcourt – Lagos Coastal Rail Line and the commencement of work at the long-abandoned Port Harcourt International Airport. We believe these projects will bring about life-changing impact on the people of Rivers State, the Niger Delta and indeed Nigeria at large,” he said.
He denied any rift or crack in the party as insinuated by some unnamed persons in publications.
“We unequivocally state that the APC Family in Rivers State under the leadership of Amaechi remains solidly unified, cohesive and intact. We wish to warn that any person or persons in the family that may lend themselves to the machinations of the enemy will be doing a great disservice to the party,” Ngofa stated.
Meanwhile, the party has said it is fully prepared to participate in Saturday’s rescheduled rerun elections in Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas of the state.
The state Chairman of the APC, Dr. Davies Ikanya, said while answering a question at the press conference that the party was satisfied with arrangements for the elections and was confident to win the elections.
“Both Etche and Omuma are APC local government areas. We will win both the House of Representatives and state assembly elections in both local government areas,” he said.