From Tony John
Factional Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Rivers State, Igo Aguma, has urged the national leadership to intervene in the internal crisis rocking the party in the state.
Aguma spoke at a media in Port Harcourt yesterday, noting that the crisis in the party has transcended the courts, stating that there would be calm in the party, if only the leadership of the party would wade in soonest.
He alleged that the faction of the party loyal to the leader of the party in the state and the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, was still playing politics of deceit, saying that “days of politics of deception” were over.
Aguma said: “I don’t know why the Amaechi-led faction of the party continues to deceive their supporters. That was how I was once deceived in the run-up to the last general election and we were given a national embarrassment.
“It later downed on us that we were not on the ballot. We were deceived all along. The days of politics of deception are gone. We are now standing up to those on high horses to tell them no, you can’t deceive us anymore.
“You cannot run APC as if it is a personal property. You cannot run APC as if you incorporated it for you to access patronage for you and your family and a few of cohorts and friends.
“APC is a party all of us founded together, sacrificed for. We took bullets for APC. One person cannot come out to say people who are not okay should park out. I cannot build a house and park out of it. All of us participate in building APC. So, one man cannot wake up and say he owns the party.
“We will fight for our right to live in the house. It is within him to realise that a political party is a cohabitation of different shades of opinions, characters and different expectations.
“When he learns that we can now sit on a round table as we have been calling on; and more so, the issue in APC now has even transcended law court. The party is now properly factionalised. So, in addition to the law court, it is going to mean the National party must come together, call everybody together and judge all. After the talking, work the talk”.
He also clarified that the Supreme Court did not give judgement to sack him as the Caretaker Committee chairman of the party in the state, noting that the apex court only struck out an application earlier withdrawn in court by his counsel.
Aguma maintained that the Supreme Court did not sack him as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, stressing that he remained in charge pending the determination of the Apex Court on the pending issue in court.
He said: “There was an earlier case filed by Issac Abbot-Ogbobula against her judgement of George Omereji. Sometime in July, the ruling was made regularizing their method of filing. My lawyer felt that irrespective of his opposition to it, that the Appeal Court regularize that filing and now Appeal to the Supreme Court against the regularisation of those process.
“Well, it so appeared that within the period all our attention for both parties moved from Isaac Ogbobula’s appeal to the APC against the Omereji’s judgement.
“On the 16 of February, that appeal in the Supreme Court the issue of the regularisation came up. My learned counsel having read the submissions of the counsel said the matter was statute barred, having lasted for more than 60 days in the Supreme Court. So that case in its entirety being a pre election matter by our own contention is statute barred.
“The Supreme Court sided with my lawyer that the reason he has given to withdraw that matter was tenable and as such he was free to withdraw the application he filed.
“The only appeal we have at the Supreme Court now is the appeal against the judgement of the Appeal Court in the case of APC against the Omereji’s judgement.
“It is even our contention that the Appeal Court has no jurisdiction, however, to hear a pre-election matter. Within a short while that matter will be heard”.
He dislcosed that his faction has submitted names of the candidates for councellorship and chairmanahip candidates for the local government elections in the state, adding that it would record landslide victory in the outing.
“I want to let our supporters know that we are on course. We are on top of our saddle. We are not distracted by those who want to run APC as a party for celebration of birthday.
“We have an election we are looking up to. We are in that election. All our candidates have emerged through a peaceful process. Their names have been submitted to the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC), and we are ready to give PDP a run for their money.
“We believe that we can give the PDP a veritable opposition. Look at how our primaries went, rancour free. But, we are hearing cries from the primaries of the PDP. It is our opportunity to crush them in their own election that they are conducting in as much as they will conduct free and fair election”.