2019 Elections: We’re all net losers in Rivers State – Oshiomhole
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has lamented the huge set back the party suffered in Rivers state, noting rather sadly that the party and all sides in the protracted dispute in Rivers APC during 2019 general election are net losers.
Oshiomhole made feelings within the party known on Monday while inaugurating a Caretaker Committee toward rebuilding the APC in the state ahead of its planned ward, LGA and state congresses.
He acknowledged that while the party still enjoy sizeable followership in the state, it lacked organs that can galvanize it to a coherent force owing to the Supreme court decision that decline recognition to River State APC Congress
Recall that a battle for supremacy between factions loyal to Senator Magnus Abe and Chibuike Amaechi, former governor of the state divided the APC, leading to disputes that ended at Supreme Court. In the end. As a result, the party was denied a place in the ballot at all levels in the election.
Charging the committee headed Barrister Isaac Abbott Ogbobula to eschew sentiments in an effort to bring the various groups back into a family, he expressed hope that all the warring factions should have learned their lessons.
“As things stand today, we don’t have an elected person in Rivers and this cannot be the outcome of the will of the Rivers people who I know wanted a change and are familiar with some of the key drivers in this process.
“For reasons which I don’t want to repeat, we were not able to manage our internal contestations which is not unusual in a democracy. In a genuine democracy, there must be more than one opinion even when the destination is not in dispute.
“The important thing is that at the end of the day, the majority would have their say and we proceed to work and ensuring that we deliver on the commitment we made to our people.
“So, I hope that the huge setback that we have suffered in Rivers state may well be the ingredient we need not tow the part that will lead us to another perpetual house that will be divided against itself.
“So, I ask you to put the interest of the party first, the interest of the party second and the interest of the party last. Your personal friendship and opinion must be downplayed for this bigger interest to manifest.
“As human beings, we have sentiments and feelings. Sometimes, we have pains about what has happened to us. But it is how we are able to manage objectively and do justice to all manner of person in spite of our personal reservations and pains.
“What we need at this time is to ensure that you have learned your lessons and approach your work, by putting the interest of APC members in the account and go down in history as having provided a base for the party to conduct a credible congress.
“Anybody who understands the challenge that you face should rather commensurate with you because you do have the challenging task of earning the confidence and trust of the various interest groups in Rives state.
“The fact that those taking sides with the various shades of opinion has not helped us and we are all net losers in Rivers state. That is the incentive you need to put behind your personal sentiment and be guided by the overall interest of the APC family.”
Oshiomhole said the Chairman should not expect congratulations but instead commiseration because of the difficult task he shoulders in resolving all APC issues in the state.
He also promised to send a high level mediation to ensure peace return to APC in Rivers State.
“We will also look at the possibility of sending some high level mediation to ensure that all the forces within the party in the state see the need to work together so that by the time we conduct the congresses, it will be seen as a peaceful, transparent family affair in line with the tradition of the APC”.