Tony John, Port Harcourt
A faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State chapter, loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has welcomed the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to approve indirect primaries for the state.
In a swift reaction, a governorship aspirant and lawmaker representing Rivers South East senatorial district, Magnus Ngei Abe, has said the NWC’s decision cannot override an earlier decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Amaechi’s camp said the NWC’s decision was in line with the resolution of the expanded State Executive Committee (SEC), taken at its meeting of Thursday, September 6, as directed by the NEC.
Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, in a statement issued, on Tuesday noted: “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.
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“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.
“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!
“Therefore, the party calls on all delegates and members to work tirelessly towards the holding of successful and hitch free primaries accordingly”, Finebone stated.
But Abe disagreed.
The lawmaker stated that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had, during the party’s last NEC meeting, listed the state as one of the states, where direct primaries would be held, to elect candidates of the party for the 2019 general election.
Abe, who spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt, in reaction to the decision of NWC of the party to adopt indirect primaries for Rivers, said the NEC had decided to adopt direct primaries in Rivers because of the many legal issues facing the party in the state.
The frontline governorship aspirant urged his supporters to remain focused in the clamour to have direct primaries, and added that they would present their facts before the NWC, in order to ensure that the right thing is done in the state.
He said: “I have been informed of the decision of the NWC, 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 that have 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 personally listed Rivers state as one of the states, where direct primaries would be held 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,” Abe said.