The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over an alleged fresh plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC), working with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, to cause constitutional crisis in Rivers State by moving to annul the governorship election recently won by its candidate, Chief Nyesom Wike.
But the APC responded last night, saying the PDP’s allegation was an attention seeking effort to remain relevant after its defeat at the recently concluded presidential election.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, recalled that in nullifying the APC primaries and barring it from fielding any candidates in Rivers State for the general election, the High Court held, and rightly too, that APCs’ primaries in the state were invalid and could not be considered.
The party stressed that acting upon the final judgment of the Supreme Court, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on February 23, 2019 held the Presidential and National Assembly elections and on March 9, 2019 conducted the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in Rivers State, in which the APC, having been lawfully excluded, did not participate.
It stated: “However, not done with the desperation to cause confusion and crisis in Rivers State, the leader of the APC in the state has engaged in fresh conspiracies to subvert the will of the people as expressed at the polls.”
“If this is allowed to occur, it will also amount to the highest travesty of justice, apart from being a direct abuse of court process. The Supreme Court is the highest temple of justice in our country and as such must protect itself from all forms of manipulative tendencies of the APC,” the party said.
The PDP, therefore, urged the acting CJN not to allow his office to be used by desperate power mongers in the APC to cause anarchy and perpetrate more violence in Rivers State.
He said people of Rivers State have experienced so much crisis, bloodletting, harassment and intimidations from the APC in its desperation to forcefully take over the state.
But in a response by the APC, its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the PDP needed to accept the reality of its loss of the presidential election and stop seeking attention with outlandish allegations.
“The APC did not contest the state elections in Rivers State, why would we be interested in its outcome,” he said, adding: “We cannot continue to respond to a party that has been defeated in a transparent election. We have a government to run and the PDP should accept its defeat in good faith.”
“The problem with the PDP is that it does not accept reality. When it favours it, it accept the system as perfect; but when it goes against it, it condemns the same system. So, everything must go its way? No, society does not run that way,” he said.
Meanwhile, legal experts told THISDAY last night that the PDP allegation is far-fetched because the election having held, complaints on it could only be treated by the election petition tribunal.
Another silk who did not want to be quoted also explained: “At best, the complaint of the APC would be that it had been excluded from the process. That process is an election that has been held. The appropriate place to complain is the tribunal not the regular court.”