The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it has no hand in the activities surrounding the governorship election in Rivers State.
Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC National Publicity Secretary, stated this in an interview session with journalists at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, recently.
According to Issa-Onilu, the party didn’t throw much weight into the elections, since they did not field candidates.
When asked if the outcome of the election, which saw Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secure a second term in office, was a result of the party’s failure to perform in the state, the APC spokesman said: “No. We don’t have anything to do with the Rivers State election. APC didn’t have candidates in Rivers State and that is why, from the beginning, we didn’t throw ourselves so much into it.
“You knew what the Supreme Court did, that we were not qualified to contest. So, on that basis, whatever happened in Rivers, whether a local government that gave 80 per cent of the total votes during presidential election suddenly produced 320,000 for Wike during governorship election didn’t hurt us in any way. If INEC says that was correct, fine, it is up to the parties involved to take actions if they find it necessary but for us as a party, we didn’t have the opportunity to contest fairly in Rivers State.”
On the position of Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation and party leader in Rivers State, declaring the party’s support for the candidates of the African Action Congress (AAC) in Rivers State, Issa-Onilu denied that Amaechi’s stand was the general party position with an emphatic “No”.
He continued: “What happened last time was whether what he did amounted to anti-party activities and I said no because they have not denied any of our candidates anything in Rivers State. So, I separated what had happened in Rivers from Ogun and Imo, where we had our own candidates and our own members worked against our own candidates and worked for some other candidates.
“It was a different thing in Rivers. Whatever local arrangement they had there, we were not aware of it, neither were we part of it. I’m sure you didn’t see anybody here campaigning for anybody outside of APC.”