Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, has said the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to adopt indirect primaries for Rivers State cannot override the earlier decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Abe stated that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had during the party’s last NEC meeting, listed Rivers State as one of the states where direct primaries would be held to elect candidates of the party for the 2019 general elections.
But the faction loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has hailed the decision of the NWC, stating that the decision was in the interest of the party.
Reacting to the decision of the NWC of the party to adopt indirect primaries for Rivers State, Abe, who spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the NEC decided to adopt direct primaries in Rivers State because of the many legal issues facing the party in the state.
He urged his supporters to remain focused in the clamour to have direct primaries in the state, saying they would
present their facts before the NWC in order to ensure that the right thing is done in the state.
Abe, who is the senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said: “I have been informed of the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to hold indirect primaries in Rivers State. This decision goes against the grain of reason.
“First of all, direct primaries were ordered in other states including Imo State that has similar issues such as we have in Rivers State. Secondly, the National Chairman of the party at the last National Executive Committee Meeting of the party, had himself listed Rivers State as one of the states where direct primaries would be held in the country because of many legal issues that we are currently facing in the state.
“Therefore, in the light of that, I will urge all our supporters to remain focused and continue to work towards the direct primaries that will hold in our state. The decision of the National Working Committee cannot override that of the National Executive Committee of the party, nor the realities on ground in Rivers State.
“So, we should continue to mobilise and keep up our efforts to ensure that party members are given an opportunity to express their preference.
“We will bring the facts clearly before the National Working Committee and we are very confident that the right thing will be done in Rivers State.”
The Rivers State chapter of the APC had been locked in crisis leading to the establishment of parallel secretariats. The Abe faction had favoured direct primaries while the faction led by Amaechi, has opted for indirect primaries.
However, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Finebone, the Amaechi faction welcomed the decision of the NWC to adopt indirect primaries.
Finebone said, “This decision is in line with the resolution of the expanded State Executive Committee (SEC) taken at its meeting of Thursday, September 6, 2018 as directed by the NEC of our party. In the said meeting, the direct, indirect and consensus options were critically examined and the majority of members overwhelmingly voted to adopt the indirect mode of primaries.
“Therefore, it is satisfying that all the reasons adduced for adopting the indirect mode of primaries were found to be convincing, well-thought out and altruistic hence the acceptance of the option for Rivers State by the NWC.”
He added, “It is important to emphasise that the eventual approval of the indirect option does not suggest that at the end of the argument there is a victor and a vanquished. Instead, it is our great party, and not any individual, that carried the day. Only one option will always be adopted at a given time.
The party would like to remind all members that whereas everyone has his or her preference or opinion on any given matter, final considerations will always be made in the interest of the greater majority of party members especially when the preservation of the common good is at stake. Such a time is now!”
He called on all delegates and members to work tirelessly towards the holding of successful and hitch-free primaries in the state.