The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers State Chapter intensified as protesters last week Wednesday barricaded the party secretariat at Woji Road Port-Harcourt, alleging irregularities in the conduct of its ward delegates congress.
The protesters who were mainly aggrieved members of the Senator Magnus Abe’s faction of the APC had alleged that materials for the conduct of the local government delegates election were hijacked by the faction loyal to former Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Abe’s loyalists, including aspirants also complained that a stakeholders meeting between the party’s screening panel and the aspirants was not held.
According to one of them, the National Working Committee of the party was supposed to ensure that the screening process was transparent, stressing that their inability to do that orchestrated their anger. A state House of Assembly aspirant from Oyigbo Local Government Area, Innocent Ajelu criticized the national working committee for not calling the two factions for reconciliation.
He stressed the need to allow for direct primaries to enable delegates to vote for the candidates of their choice.
Our correspondent reports that as the unarmed protesters continued to protest over the alleged irregularities, a detachment of security operatives were drafted to the secretariat and they shot indiscriminately, wounding some people in the process.
Hon. Tony Okocha, former chief of staff and a member of the Abe’s group condemned the attitude of those sent from the national secretariat to handle the congress and the shooting of unarmed protesters by the security operatives.
Chris Finebone, spokesman of the Amaechi’s faction of APC said the party was yet to know why protesters who he described as thugs invaded their secretariat to disrupt the screening process. He said there should be investigation of the matter, which outcome he promised to make known to the public.
Meanwhile, National Network has gathered that a number of aspirants loyal to Senator Abe have been screened and cleared in preparation for the State House of Assembly election.