The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has said that the recent ruling by the Supreme Court does not stop it from contesting the forthcoming coming general elections.
Nigerians will this Saturday elect a new president, senators, and members of the House of Representatives, while governors and state lawmakers will be elected on March 2.
A high court judgment which nullified the primaries that produced Tony Cole as the APC governorship candidate in the state has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
The nullification also affected the APC’s candidates for Senate, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly elections in the state.
The quagmire the party has found itself in today is as a result of a power struggle within the party between Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, and Magnus Abe, a senator from the state, who has been aspiring to be fly the party’s flag in the governorship election against Mr Amaechi’s wish.
“After a meeting of the State Working Committee of our party in the State today in which we meticulously deliberated on the recent court rulings of various courts especially the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday to further re-affirm two earlier orders that stayed the execution of the judgments of the lower court, our conclusion is that the APC and it’s candidates will now, most certainly, be on the ballot this Saturday,” the APC in Rivers state said in a statement on Thursday.
“No order or judgment given since, including orders given by the Supreme Court on both jurisdiction and representation have said otherwise,” said the statement signed by Chris Finebone, the party’s spokesperson in the state.
The statement in parts reads:
“We opted not to rely on a media circus to convey our right to be included. Unlike the many news reports that were suggesting we were dead and buried, we have since seen the orders and the Supreme Court judgment on the stay of execution which proves beyond reasonable doubt that INEC has an obligation to relist APC or risk being sanctioned for excluding us and disobeying a subsisting court order.
“We hail once again both decisions of the stay of execution, taken by the Court of Appeal recently and their reaffirmation of both yesterday. These decisions mean that nothing is stopping INEC from placing APC on the ballot. We welcome the moves by INEC to put us back on the ballot, as the alternative would have confirmed once and for all, the genuine fear that they are working for the PDP.
“We wish to state advisedly that obedience to the rule law is the best antidote to anarchy. In the circumstances, we urge INEC to speedily implement the rule of law and return our great party to its rightful place. We are only demanding a right to compete.
“I want to once again hail the decision of the Supreme Court to refuse moves by Senator Magnus Abe and his lawyers to appeal the stays of execution. Nobody is in any doubt now that the Supreme Court’s throwing out their appeal against our stays of execution speaks volumes. In summary, it means that the stays still subsist. That is the clear position of the law. The stay orders, the details of the Supreme Court judgment and our formal letter to INEC are hereby attached for your perusal.
“We have passed the stage of worrying if we will be on the ballot. We must now prepare to punish those who have been trying to keep us out of the elections with our votes. With these same votes, we must give Mr President our full support. He stood by our leader because our leader had always stood by him and if you want to keep getting what you are getting, you have to keep doing what you are doing.
“Everybody must come out and vote APC to deny PDP any sight of government and help our President secure his second term in office.”