By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The rescheduled local government congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State was peaceful across the state despite the boycott of the exercise by members loyal to Senator Magnus Abe.
Abe’s loyalists had in the wake of the ward congresses sought and obtained an interlocutory injunction from the state High Court stopping the congresses on the grounds that they were unfairly shut out of the process.
Even when the national leadership cancelled the former exercise and ordered fresh congresses in the state, they said it was an exercise in illegality as the court injunction was subsisting and distanced themselves from the rescheduled congresses.
Despite their boycott however, the exercise went on peacefully and smoothly, albeit with heavy police presence, in the areas THISDAY visited.
Speaking after participating in the exercise in Port Harcourt City local government area, a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Victoria Nyeche, said:, “The local government congress was peaceful, fair, credible and very successful.
“When I heard about the cancellation of the previous exercise, I was not happy but as a faithful party member, I had to come back here to be part of the exercise again. The reason the national leadership of our party gave was that they wanted everybody to be part of the process and I think it was a very good reason because as a party, we need to work together.”
Also speaking leader of APC in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Nnamdi Nwuche, said the exercise was held in obedience to the directive of the national leadership of the party.
Nwuche, who is a former Mayor of Port Harcourt, said, “The local government congress we held today was in obedience to the directive of the national leadership of our party and if the national leadership directs, we have no option than to obey in accordance with their directive.
“The whole exercise, just like the ward congress that held yesterday, Saturday, was successful. The last one we had before the cancellation was easy and smooth but the fact that we have been asked to repeat it, we have to obey.
“Those that boycotted the exercise are those that are aggrieved and you cannot stop anyone from being aggrieved. Those that want to participate in the exercise are here, so, if any man says he want to boycott, so be it.”
The state Publicity Secretary of APC, Chris Finebone, said:, “Well, we don’t understand their reasons for not participating. We are participating because the national leadership of our party thought that they should repeat what they have done before. So, for us, it costs money, it cost time in terms of logistics.
“We have no other choice but to comply with the directive of the national leadership of our party. For those who have other reasons, they are entitled to their reasons. We have no other choice not to abide by the directive of our party leadership.”