By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, Tuesday lamented that the inability of the party to manage its internal contestation cost the ruling party Rivers State.
Oshiomole stated this at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja, while inaugurating the caretaker committee to pilot the party’s affairs in Rivers State a year after the Supreme Court nullified the party’s ward, local government and State congresses.
He added that the lack of formal party structure in the state had left the party with a complete void, stressing that even though APC had overwhelming support base in the State, it can’t be substituted for a formal structure.
The national chairman stressed that as a consequence of the supreme court ruling, the NWC decided that it was time it starts the process of rebuilding the party in the State.
He however noted that the party cannot embark on a rebuilding or reconstructing the organs of the party from outside, hence, the need to have a state based organ to be able to assist those who would carry out the conduct of the congresses which he said would last for about two weeks.
Oshiomole noted that the NWC decided to approve the caretaker committee that would be on ground to assist those who are coming in ensuring that the party has a hitch free conduct of all the congresses.
The chairman said that the committee has a very simple task but also a very complicated one, noting that the committee was assuming office at a time the ruling party has a huge internal fighting in the state chapter of the party.
He explained that the first task of the committee include building bridges across all the divides within the APC family in Rivers State, while the national leadership of the party would also look at possibility of sending some high level mediation to ensure that all the forces within the party in the state see the need to work together, so that by the time the congresses are conducted, it would be seen as simple and transparent.
Oshiomhole stated: “Only God knows what the outcome of the election would have been in Rivers if we validly contested those elections, but what is clear is that there is no way we could have recorded zero.
“We were not able to manage our internal contestation which is not unusual in a democracy. In a genuine democracy there must be more than one opinion, even when the destination is not in dispute, the road to that destination will be a valid point for contestation.”
The national chairman expressed hope that the huge set back the party suffered in Rivers State might well be the ingredient it needs not to toe the part that would lead the party to another ‘perpetual house’ that would be divided against itself.
Oshiomhole therefore urged the committee members to open their minds and commit themselves to ensuring that process would produce an outcome that people would make the stakeholders happy.
He equally urged the committee members to put the interests of the party first and downplay their personal opinions.
The committee had Mr. Isaac Ogbobula as chairman, Mr. Baridon Baadom as secretary, while Mr. Friday Owhor, Mrs Beatrice Amino and Abolo Stephen are members
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Ogbobula thanked the party for giving them the opportunity to serve in such capacity to run the affairs of the party in the state.
The committee however promised to discharge the task as spelt out to succeed in the task.