A faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, has vowed not to allow the 2019 elections hold in the state if the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, fails to restore its candidates on the ballot.
This came as the Supreme Court will today deliver judgement on the appeal by APC, challenging its exclusion from the polls by the court.
Nominated national and state assembly flag-bearers of the faction of the Rivers APC, while handing down the threat in Port Harcourt, yesterday, described INEC’s delisting of Rivers APC and its candidates from the coming polls as “unlawful and strange.”
Flag-bearer for Onelga/Ahoada West Federal Constituency, Henry Odili, who declared the collective feelings among the worried candidates, said Nigeria’s constitution guarantees the right of political parties to nominate candidates and forbids interference from the courts.
Among other demands, Odili said: “INEC should, with immediate effect, tender an apology to the APC and Rivers people, re-list APC candidates in Rivers for the 2019 general elections.”
On how they hope to stop the elections from holding in Rivers State should INEC fail to bow to their threat, Odili said: “We do have faith in the judiciary, but when we get to the bridge, we will decide how to cross it.”
Odili blames Wike, INEC, courts for crises
The party repeated its accusation against Governor Nyesom Wike for fuelling the crisis, this time going further to finger the INEC and the courts for alleged conspiracy with the governor to displace APC in Rivers.
Odili said: “No section in the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) or the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria empowers INEC or the courts to delist any duly nominated candidate whose name had been submitted by the party and acknowledged without voluntary withdrawal or death.
“Let INEC, the judiciary and Nigerians be told that any blood spilled as a result of their inaction or wilful collusion with Wike will be on their own hands/heads.”
Wike has no hand in your self destruct —Okah
Responding to the allegations, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Emma Okah, said: “Governor Wike has no hand in the self inflicted problem APC brought upon itself through recurring acts of impunity, lack of respect for the judiciary, and want of internal democracy in the party.
“Wike is no member of APC, never asked APC to disobey court order or refuse to resolve internal problems. Tonye Cole is running when nothing is chasing him. He knows what he did with his master that gave rise to series of crises that enveloped his APC.
“The APC’s lamentation is understandable and pathetic but can somebody tell them that a bad workman will always quarrel with his tools. Tonye Cole does not need to lose sleep as Wike will beat him thoroughly in any governorship contest any day.”
Source: Vanguard NG