The All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State Chapter, has
blamed Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesome Wike, for the delay in
conducting local government elections in the State.
The party in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the State Chairman, Dr.
Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, accused Wike of engineering a lingering political crisis
in the State which has made it impossible for the Governor Chibuike Amaechi
administration to conduct council polls even though it has always been willing
and eager to do so.
“This clarification has become necessary because of the propaganda by the Rivers
State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the reason why Gov.
Amaechi does not want to conduct local government elections is because he (Amaechi)
is afraid of defeat. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Dr. Ikanya said
in the statement.
According to the State APC Chairman, “The non-conduct of the council elections
in the State is not out of the fear of anybody or out of the fear of losing to
PDP but for the sake of peace.
“In fact, if anybody should be held responsible for the non-conduct of the
elections, that person should be Chief Nyesome Wike, the junior Minister of
Education, and his cohorts in the PDP. Wike is the one who tried to manipulate
the National Judicial Council (NJC), using OCJ Okocha, in order to plant his own
choice of Chief Judge in the person of Daisy Okocha instead of allowing the
Governor to exercise his constitutional powers to appoint a Chief Judge for the
State in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic. That was the
genesis of the crisis in the judiciary in Rivers State. This has incapacitated
judicial activities in the State. The fact remains that you cannot conduct
elections without the judiciary because without a Chief Judge of the State who
is expected to constitute an election tribunal to handle petitions that may
arise after the elections, such polls would be an exercise in futility.
“Gov. Amaechi, being a man who has great respect for the laws of the land,
cannot engage in an exercise that would be stalled halfway just because he wants
to satisfy a non-existing party like PDP in Rivers State. So if the PDP is
actually serious about meeting its waterloo in a council election in Rivers
State, it should prevail on Wike to stop the judicial crisis in the State by
asking the NJC to allow the Governor to exercise his constitutional powers to
appoint the most qualified Judge as the Chief Judge of the State.”
Rivers APC dismissed the State PDP as a factionalised and castrated party,
declaring: “A disoriented and disunited party like PDP cannot even win a
councillorship election in any part of Rivers State, not to talk of posing any
threat to APC that is fully rooted in all the wards of the State. Rivers people
know what PDP and APC represent and have decided to accept APC as their party no
matter the temptation by PDP. We, therefore, wish to assure the good people of
Rivers State that council elections will be conducted once the NJC clears the
coast and allows the Governor to appoint a Chief Judge for the State.”