From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The lingering crisis that has rocked the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State, for several years, seems irredeemable, with the recent inauguration of parallel officials of the two factions.
After Saturday’s state congress, the camp loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, announced Emeka Bekee, as the current party chairman.
Similarly, yesterday (Tuesday), the faction loyal to Senator Magnus Abe inaugurated its state officials, with Golden Chioma announced as the party chairman.
Briefing journalists shortly after the inauguration at the party Freedom House, Port Harcourt, Chioma said that there had been lots of comments about their recent state congress, which needed to be addressed.
He stated that they were “ready for battle” to occupy the Bricks House (Government House), Port Harcourt, in 2023, saying that nobody can intimidate them.
The chairman stressed that the era of wishing “happy birthdays” was over, stating that they had persons of impeccable character that can take the party to the desired height.
Chioma noted: “In the last 72 hours, our great party has been saddled with a lot of rift by a lot of mischief makers. We just want to clear the air, so that this press conference would settle all dust.
“We held the ward congress; we held the local government congress and we also held the state congress.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all those whose names were mentioned this morning bought forms, submitted forms. They are men of impeccable personalities and ladies of repute.
“I stand as a duly elected Executive Chairman of APC in Rivers State. I also want to sound a note of warning that this party will no longer wish happy birthdays. We are leaving the era of birthdays for a political option, where we must take the Brick House.
“We are the political party that is only known to contest election; we don’t want to be the second best. We want to be the best and we want to produce the next governor of Rivers State.
“This space is very important to the Nigerian project. We cannot continue to be in the opposition. APC will rule Nigeria, APC will rule Rivers State.”
The factional chairman said the race was important the APC because Rivers State is very important to Nigeria.
“So we must take is over. We must not hear the news that Nigeria is moving on and our state is excluded, Our State is not participating in the APC caucus because the governor is not APC. So, for us to have a governor that is participating in the Nigerian project, we must have a governor that is APC.
“I also want to put it on record that despite what they claim they have done, APC will do better. There is always room to do better and that we will do by ensuring a credible candidate that is not loyal to one man, not nominated by one man, but by all of us collectively producing our governor.
He, however, commended the National Assembly by adopting the direct primaries.
“In 2019, we tried to adopt it; but, it was scuttled in our state, when others adopted it. Our state failed to adopt it because those in authority only want to insist to employ a governor for all of us. We cannot take a governor that is employed. We must vote for our governor.”