The All Progressives Congress, APC, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, reacted for the first time to the decision of the independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, not to issue certificate of return to Imo state Governor Rochas okorocha.
It said the party has no official position on the issue since the governor is still under suspension.
Lanre Issa- Onilu, the national publicity secretary of the party, said at an interactive session with journalists that the governor has also not informed the party of the problem with the electoral management body probably because he is aware of his suspension.
INEC has said it will not issue certificate of return to Okorocha, who was declared Senator-elect, insisting he was declared winner under duress.
Asked whether the party planned to intervene in the matter, Issa- Onilu said Okorocha is still under suspension, adding until such is vacated the party will not intervene.
“On the refusal of INEC to issue Certificate of Return to governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, who was announced winner of the Imo West senatorial ticket, this party cannot take any action.
“Don’t forget that he is on suspension and as far as this party is concerned, that situation remains because there is no way we can say that somebody is on suspension and still go ahead to intervene in his case.
“In any case, he has not even come up to inform the party of his problem because he has realised that he is on suspension.
“Therefore, until it is vacated, the party will now step in to intervene as a party member who has problem to resolve.”
On whether former Rivers state governor Rotimi Ameachi had committed anti-party activity for allegedly supporting governorship of African Action Congress, AAC, Issa- Onilu said: “I will emphatically say no because if you liken it to the situation in Imo and or Ogun states, it will be wrong.
“In Rivers state, APC does not have any candidate and as a party, Rivers state is very important to us. The state has been in the hands of pillagers for too long.
“If we have the opportunity of working with party willing to abide by our principles, then it is within our right to work with such a party to ensure we free the people of Rivers state from the locust.
“In this case, he has not abandoned a particular candidate that belongs to the APC for a candidate of another party.
“They are entirely different issues and in that case, there is no anti-party. Whatever Amaechi has done is completely normal and acceptable to this party as far as working with other party is concerned.”
On the supposed suspension of Senator Kabiru Marafa by his ward in Zamfara, Onilu said: “It’s within the powers of the party executives at the ward level.
“If they have good reason to take punitive action against a member that they considered to have flaunted the rules of the party.
“In this case, we don’t have all the facts because it has not been brought to NWC attention and they don’t really need to come that far before they can take that decision.
“Whoever that has happened to has the window to seek redress. So, we are watching to be sure that they stay within the rule.”
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