The Acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Igo Aguma, at the weekend, accused a splinter group led by Sokonte Davies of leading a rebellion against President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Caretaker Committee of the party led by Yobe Governor Mai Bala Buni.
Aguma, in a statement in Port Harcourt, said the actions of Davies and his group, including their decision to continue pursuing a litigation against the party, were divisive and against the directives of Buhari and the national CTC.
But Davies denied Aguma’s allegations maintaining he was the one, who breached the presidential directive by rushing to the court to institute a contempt proceeding against him (Davies) and others immediately after the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party.
Aguma said following the development in the party, he recently submitted a comprehensive report to the national CTC on the activities of the party in the state.
He said the report contained efforts of his committee to restore peace in APC Rivers and recommended the need for the national CTC to set up an independent committee to deal with the factionalisation of the party in the state.
He said: “The report gives an extensive information to the National Caretaker Committee on our effort in bringing peace and reconciliation to the Party in Rivers state.
It proposed to the National Caretaker Committee the need to set up an independent Committee to deal with the fractionalization of the party in the state with a view to bring about peace and reconciliation to the party.
“It also intimates the National Caretaker Committee on the effort of the Caretaker Committee under my watch to acquire a neutral secretariat for the state chapter for a period where all factions will be comfortable to visit since the the two factional secretariats are not acceptable to either factions in the state.
“The situation report also contains far-reaching recommendations on factors that will promote genuine peace and reconciliation in the state chapter of the party and revive the state strictures along the lines of constitutional politics and democratic inclusiveness”.
He added: “The issues of further litigations by some members of the party were raised, which actions are contrary to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that all Court cases instituted by members of the party be withdrawn to pave the way for peace and reconciliation.
“Surprisingly, immediately after the directive by the President and further directive by the National Caretaker Committee on same subject via a letter, we were served by Appeal Court actions by some members of the party including those who are using the name of the party to litigate over Rivers state chapter”.
He advised the splinter group to immediately comply with the directive of the state Caretaker Committee of the party to shut down all factional secretariats in the state including the one at 63 Aba road Port Harcourt.
“Sokonte Davies is reminded along with his splinter group that their actions are not promoting peace and reconciliation efforts in the state chapter.
The Court has taken a decision confirming myself as Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party in the state, and all statutory members constituting the Committee.
“All correspondences including recognition by the National Working Committee of the Party have been sent to me (Rt. Hon. Igo Aguma) in my capacity as the lawful Acting Chairman of our state chapter from the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja.
“It is an affront and highly rebellious for Sokonte Davies and his splinter group to continue to dare the Court, President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Caretaker Committee of the party by taking further divisive steps to destroy the APC in Rivers state”, he said.
But Davies, who spoke through the acting Publicity Secretary of his group, Ogonna Nwuke, said Aguma’s actions were directly in opposition to the recommendations and directives of the NEC.
He, however, said the APC was in dire need of reconciliation and peace-building adding that Aguma was adopting a diversionary tactics to stop the peace process.
On the issue of the APC office, Davies ssid Aguma lacked the powers to change the headquarters of the party in the state noting that the party office was registered with and recognised by the national headquarters of APC.
He said: “Recall that after the Omereji’s ruling, those directly affected by the ruling immediately appealed that decision.
The appeal was already incidented in the court of appeal before the presidential directive. It doesn’t suggest that we acted against the directive.
” Whereas there was an appeal immediately after the ruling of Justice Omereji, Aguma despite the directive of the President went back to the Omereji court to file for contempt proceeding. So, who is going against the presidential directive?
“Party business is not conducted in the bedrooms of people, it is conducted in the open. And we have the party office at Number 63 Aba Road. Davies participated in the last NEC meeting via zoom while Aguma did not.
A man who claims that he wants to lead the APC should be able to appreciate the fact that the APC already has a registered office.
“He cannot change the headquarters of the APC in Rivers. He has no capacity to do so. Let us concentrate on what is necessary, which is to build peace and bridges. We need to forgive each other and move forward”.