On June 9, 2020, Igo Aguma, under the guise of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State presided by Omereji. J., temporarily distracted from the gains made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers State Chapter under the Isaac Abbot Ogbobula-led Caretaker Committee as set up by the National Working Committee of the Party on September 6, 2019. This brought a halt to the quiet but steady rebuilding process of the Party in Rivers State.
However today 16th July 2020, the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, granted an injunction against the said judgment of the High Court of Rivers State, pending appeal and thereby maintained the status quo ante before the commencement of the suit before Omereji J. We laud this Ruling particularly because the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State had marked a significant departure from the norm in the affairs of the Party both at the State and indeed at the National level. We shall not relent until the entire judgment is upturned on appeal because it is absolutely unacceptable for a court to ignominiously meddle in the internal affairs of a political party and usurp the constitutionally vested functions of its decision-making organs. In fact Justice Omereji’s judgment attempted to supplant the Caretaker Committee of the party in a manner or nature not contemplated by the Party’s grund-norm. This, even to the point of foisting a Chairman on the teeming members of the Party.
So whilst June 9, 2020 may remain an indelibly Dark Day in our history as a Party in Rivers State, I want to urge all of our party faithful to begin the painstaking process of moving forward. In this regard, I on behalf of the Secretary and members of the Caretaker Committee, commend the heroes of this struggle ably led by the Distinguished Senator Andrew Uchendu and Hon. (Dr.) Sokonte Davies as well as the team of very distinguished members of the statutory State Executive Committee. They largely kept the flames of the Party aglow during the interlude.
We intend to continue to maintain the tempo of activities in the Party and therefore pray for your continued unflinching support and commitment to the Party. We shall speed up the consultation process with the leadership and elders of the Party, which consultations were ongoing before the advent of the COVID19 pandemic. As soon as the consultation process is concluded, we shall in conjunction with the leadership of the Party and other stakeholders, set a convenient date to have a mega meeting of the Party within the limits of the COVID19 protocols.
We are not unmindful of a few individual and group efforts being made to unify Party members. We appreciate all such efforts and promise to contact and partner with them in achieving the ultimate objective. Our focus will be more on how to dislodge our political opponents with a view to taking over Statecraft and governance for the betterment of Rivers people.
Finally, this is certainly not a victor-vanquished situation. Rather it is a win-win for all of us. Consequently, we call on those who feel aggrieved over one thing or the other to take full advantage of the robust internal Party dispute resolution mechanism amply provided for in the Party’s Constitution towards a rancour-free settlement of issues.
Our doors are open and all Party members are implored to join hands with us to move the Party forward. We passionately plead with you not to tow the bad example of a certain Chief Tony (please remind me that his surename) from Rumuigbo whose stuck in trade was to fan the embers of discord and crass display of ingratitude, all through the Dark period.
Thanks and God bless.
Isaac Abbot Ogbobula
(Chairman, APC Caretaker Committee, Rivers State Chapter)