18th May, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Scores of members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers who claimed to be supporters of Senator Magnus Abe on Wednesday stormed the State Secretariat of the party in Port Harcourt protesting their alleged exclusion from the party primaries.
Some of the protesters had arrived the APC State Secretariat of the party as early as 6.30 am armed with placards with varying inscriptions like” No Magnus, no Election,” “APC Rivers where’s our forms”, “2018 about to repeat itself”,”APC does not mean Amaechi Private Company” and others.
The protesters among other things, accused former Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of hijacking materials meant for the party Ward Congresses scheduled to hold today.
Some of protesters who spoke complained that even the Electoral College list which was supposed to be published today to know who are assigned to each Wards and local government areas to conduct the Ward primaries was not done.
The protesters vowed that they will not allow the Ward and Local government Congresses to hold today unless their demand for transparency in the conduct of the exercise is met.
Another said:”If anybody was sent from the national. Secretariat Abuja, we are not aware. We are hearing that they had already finished the elections. It is sad.”
However, the leadership of APC in Rivers said there is no justification for the protest.
Chris Finebone, the Publicity Secretary of the party said: “We have noticed a gathering of some youths at the gate of the party Secretariat. We are yet not been able to ascertain their mission is. However, the materials for the Wards and local government congresses have been sent to the 319 Wards in the 23 local government Council areas of the State.
“We expect that the Ward and Local government congresses to commence and conclude today, Wednesday as planned. We are going to find out the purpose for the gathering at the State Secretariat gate and for what purpose as soon as we are able to identify the leader of the mob if any”. Finebone said.
Our Correspondent reports that there has been a long drawn battle the former Senator Magnus Abe, who represented Rivers South East Senatorial District in the Senate and Rotimi Amaechi, former Minister of Transportation for the structure of the party.
The squabble led to the exclusion of the party from the 2019 general elections.
Meanwhile, Amaechi has declared interest in contest for the presidential ticket of APC in the 2023 election, while Abe has picked form to contest for the Rivers governorship ticket of the party.
Both of them are canvassing for support from delegates.
At the national level, Abe is supporting Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the Presidential ticket under APC.
It was learnt that police later dispersed the protesters.