...As Two Factional Chairmen Emerge
...Factions Sack, Counter-Sack Each Other
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) took a dramatic twist with the emergence of splinter groups with each angling to exert power and authority. Of course, it is no longer news that after the suspension of incumbent National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, three members of the party surfaced for the post of the Acting National Chairman, which by courtesy of the courts, fell on Rivers State-born Chief Victor Giadom.
Meanwhile, the theatricals played up in Rivers State with the sacking of Igo Aguma as Caretaker Committee Chairman by statutory members of the APC led by Senator Andrew Uchendu.
Uchendu at a press conference on Monday disclosed that no fewer than 28 members of the APC in Rivers State reached a resolution and announced the suspension of Aguma as the party's Caretaker Chairman.
Uchendu said that former Executive Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr Sokonte Davies, had been appointed as new Acting Chairman.
It would be recalled that Aguma was recognized as APC's Caretaker Committee Chairman in Rivers following a Port Harcourt High Court judgement delivered by Justice George Omereji.
The court had also ordered that all statutory SEC members of the party in the state should be part of the caretaker committee.
The Senator said that Aguma disrespected the court judgement by taking critical decisions concerning the party without the committee members.
“He constituted himself into a sole administrator, relegating, abandoning and disregarding the committee, and taking critical decisions affecting the party all by himself.
“Aguma summoned a virtual meeting of the statutory members of SEC on June 14, he deliberately denied majority of SEC members the User Identity and password to access the meeting,” he said.
Uchendu stated that the judgment of the High Court did not pronounce Aguma a sole administrator of the party in Rivers.
He said that the 28 SEC members out of a total of 38, viewed Aguma's actions as a deliberate attempt to fester crisis in the party.
“By that judgment, every statutory member of SEC form part of the caretaker committee and must be part of the decision-making process of the APC in Rivers.
“Every decision must be by majority vote after quorum has been formed,” he said.
With Dr. Sokonte Davis now in the saddle as Acting Caretaker Chairman of Rivers APC, a veteran journalist and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke was appointed the State Publicity Secretary of the party.
In a press release on Tuesday to fire off the salvo, Hon. Nwuke vowed that the Davies led Caretaker Committee would salvage the APC from its crisis. He said his attention was drawn to alleged moves by the Igo Aguma led faction to overturn the popular decision taken on behalf of well-meaning party members to restore decorum, orderliness, unity and peace by a vast majority of statutory members who include two former Governors of Rivers State.
“We have learnt that Igo Aguma and his acolytes are currently shopping along the corridors of the Judiciary for judges that they need to scuttle the will of an overwhelming majority of party members in Rivers State in their bid to stagnate ongoing efforts to rebuild the party.
“We are constrained as major stakeholders to bring this development to the attention of the National Secretariat of our great Party and members of the public”, Nwuke said.
But in a swift reaction the Publicity Secretary of the Igo Aguma led caretaker committee, Livingstone Wechie in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday, said Aguma's so-called suspension was of no effect and defunct”.
He said that the factionalism of the APC in Rivers resulted in the opening up of two factional offices in the state.
As the drama unfolded at the national front, a Rivers State High Court on Monday, restrained Victor Giadom from parading himself as member of the National Working Committee of the party and consequently, as Acting National Chairman of the party.
The court based its order on Giadom's resignation as Deputy National Secretary of the APC, when he went to vie for position of Deputy Governor in Rivers in 2019.
Giadom has been waving a court order by an Abuja court that appointed him as Acting National Chairman.
The APC National Working Committee had responded by formally accepting his letter of resignation. The party also further asked the South South zone to nominate a replacement.
It was on that premise that Justice Florence Fiberesima, granted an exparte order knocking Giadom out of the throne he was trying to claim.
Consequent upon the court ruling, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu issued a statement in Abuja saying there is no leadership vacuum in the party.
Debunking Chief Victor Giadom's claim to the throne, he affirmed that Abiola Ajimobi, former Oyo governor is the acting national chairman, in the absence of Adams Oshiomhole, who has been suspended by the Appeal Court.