National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said the party failed to win any position in the 2019 general election because of internal fighting within the party.
Oshiomhole who spoke on Monday during the inauguration of the Barrister Isaac Abott Ogbobula-led five-man caretaker committee said it members in the state fought dirty which cost the party a chance to field candidates in the election.
“Our members have paid a huge price in Rivers and you all know the cost of fighting to finish. As things stand today in Rivers, we don’t even have a local government councillor. That can’t be the wish of the people of Rivers State and we know the actors but we don’t want to go into details.
“I hope the few setbacks we suffered is the lesson we need not to toe the path of crisis. You must put the party first. Yes, as human beings we have feelings but what matters is our capacity to put the interest of APC members in Rivers State into account, so that the people coming to do the congresses will have a reliable local base.
“You have the challenging task of managing the various shades of opinions in Rivers. We are the net losers in Rivers but we hope you can subordinate your interest to the larger interest of our party.
“Our doors are open, we are ready to listen to advise and we shall do all we need to do to make the Congresses successful” Oshiomhole said.
On the task before the party, he said, “We don’t have a formal party structure despite our overwhelming support base. This our move is consequent on the Supreme Court judgement on Rivers.
“We can’t build the party from outside and the National Working Committee decided to put a caretaker committee in place that will liaise with those that will come and conduct congresses from ward to state.
“My role is to simply inaugurate a committee to give it legal backing. The APC is divided in Rivers State and your first task is to reconcile the divides.
“We shall also send a high-level team to forge reconciliation ahead of the congress. We are not going to be indifferent to the situation in Rivers since politics is about the people.”
In his remarks, Ogbobula assured the APC NWC that his team would discharge the assignment dutifully.
“On behalf of the caretaker committee, I thank the NWC for giving us the opportunity to serve the party in the capacity as chairman and members of the caretaker.
“Our is a straight forward assignment to run the affairs of the party and help the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee, to conduct successful congresses by providing the logistics.
“We are committed to the cause and promise to discharge our assignment conscientiously. We appeal for cooperation of our members, our doors are open. Our members willing to assist us should feel free to reach us at our party secretariat in Port Harcourt.”
Other members of the Committee are its secretary, Mr. Baridon Badom, Mr. Friday Kinika Owhor, Mrs. Beatrice Amobi and Prince Abolo Stephen.
The Supreme Court had in an unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Sidi Barge upheld the order of a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, nullifying the All Progressives Congress primaries in Rivers State.
The court had held that the primaries were held in disobedience to a court judgement delivered by Justice Chiwendu Nworgu, barring the party from conducting congresses, pending the determination of a suit filed by 22 aggrieved members of the party.
The judgment led to the exclusion of the APC from contesting the 2019 general election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).