Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has voided the suspension of transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and other party chieftains by a faction of the party in Rivers State.
In a letter issued to Igo Aguma, a leader of the state’s faction on Wednesday, the party said it will not hesitate to sanction the faction “if it persists in acts calculated to disparage the leaders of the Party or bring the Party to ridicule for whatever motivation.”
While the APC’s former deputy national secretary, Victor Giadom, was expelled, Mr Amaechi, Andrew Uchendu and Isaac Ogbobula, were suspended by Mr Aguma-led faction on Monday.
Prior to this, Mr Ogbobula, a loyalist of Mr Amaechi, had also announced the suspension of the trio of Magnus Abe, Wogu Boms and Igo Aguma “for anti-party activities.”
The tussle for who leads the Rivers chapter of the party has been between Messrs Ogbobula and Aguma, loyalists to Mr Amaechi and Mr Abe respectively, even before the appointment of Mala Buni-led national caretaker committee.
This feud has been highlighted as part of the reasons the state APC was disqualified from contesting the 2019 governorship election in the state. That gave the PDP incumbent, Nyesom Wike, a smooth coast to victory.
This tussle led to the dissolution of its excos and appointment of a caretaker committee by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC, a decision that has been contested in different courts.
While Rivers High Court dismissed Mr Ogbobula’s appointment, it ordered Mr Aguma to lead the state chapter in the same capacity, a role the latter played not too long before an appeal court returned the former.
Mr Buni-led committee reappointed Mr Ogbobula as chairman, Rivers chapter committee after the dissolution of all states and zonal excos of the APC at its last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
In response to the crisis, the party’s national legal directorate declared Mr Ogbobula as committee chairman and voided the decision taken against its chieftains by Mr Aguma’s faction.
It also dismissed Mr Aguma’s faction at different levels in the state “as impersonators and threatened disciplinary actions against them”.
“By the above, I wish to draw you and other party members in Rivers State attention to the consequences of impersonation both within the Constitution of our Party and the laws of Nigeria.
“It is therefore in the interest of the general public and our members in Rivers State that I am further directed to notify you nat all actions purportedly taken those ward executives, unknown to the National Headquarters of the Party, and you in the name of the All Progressives Congress are null and void and of no moment,” the party said.