Sequel to protests of some key stakeholders over the controversial local government Congress of Rivers All Progressive Congress, a fact finding/ appeal panel set up by the national leadership of the party was in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
On arrival in the Port Harcourt the team headed straight the office of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, where a report of the commitment reached with Rivers APC stakeholders last Saturday was presented to the panel.
The panel followed up with another well-attended meeting with stakeholders of Rivers APC at the state secretariat in Old GRA, Port Harcourt, where chieftains of the party explained in clear terms to the panel the abracadabra and controversies that trailed the botched LGA congresses in the state.
Other challenges bedeviling the Rivers APC were also laid bare before the fact-finding team.
Concrete evidence was presented by the stakeholders to the panel to show that no material was distributed for the exercise and no congress properly so-called happened in Rivers State.
They therefore called upon the APC national to conduct a fresh exercise that will be well monitored to ensure that it conforms to minimum dictates of internal democracy.
Responding on behalf of the three man panel, its Secretary, Col. A.M. Yaradua (rtd) expressed satisfaction with the position of the stakeholders who made representations before them and promised to make just and fair recommendations to the national organ of the party that will strengthen the Rivers APC.
In attendance at the panel sitting were members of Rivers APC National Assembly Caucus, members of the State Executive Committee of the party, members of the APC Rivers State House of Assembly caucus, some former commissioners under Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, LGA chairmen of the APC, Senatorial Vice chairmen of the party, former Chief of Staff to Governor Amaechi among others.
Chidi Wihioka, representing Ikwerre-Emohua constituency and Barry Mpigi, representing Tai, Eleme, and Oyigbo constituency call for the outright cancellation of the botched Congress last Saturday as there was no semblance of elections.
The national secretariat of APC had on Thursday condemned reported cases of violence pertaining to the Party’s state congresses held last Saturday to elect delegates for the planned national non-elective convention.
The party, in a statement signed by John Odigie-Oyegun, its national chairman, had noted that while most of the state congresses were peaceful and conducted in compliance with stipulated guidelines and directives given to the appointed congress committees, the violence that trailed the exercise in Rivers and Kaduna States is quite disturbing.
The Party also said it regretted and condemns the attack on the National Union of Journalist (NUJ) Secretariat in Kaduna which resulted in injuries to two journalists as it promised to investigate the reported cases and take necessary action in line with the Party’s constitution against whoever is found culpable.
While congratulating the states whose exercise went peacefully, APC said where grievances have been reported, it shall examine such cases and address them accordingly.