24 January 2014

Nigeria: APC to Its NASS Members On Rivers Crisis

Photo: Vanguard
Rivers State Crisis

Piqued by the unending political crisis in Rivers State, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has directed its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative proposals by President Goodluck Jonathan until the rule of law and constitutionalism are restored in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria at large.

Specifically, the APC asked the lawmakers under the party's platform to stop further deliberation on the 2014 budget before the National Assembly. The party also directed them not to confirm the ministerial list and the new service chiefs forwarded to the Senate by Jonathan until the Rivers impasse is resolved.

The APC gave the directive yesterday at the end of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja.

Describing the crisis in Rivers as impunity, the APC stated that it might resort to self-help if acts of impunity and lawlessness continued unabated at the detriment of its members.

The resolutions of the APC NEC were contained in a communiqué read to journalists by the party's interim national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed.

APC said: "... in view of the joint resolutions of the National Assembly on Rivers State, and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the APC hereby directs its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative proposals including the 2014 budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions to public office until the rule of law and constitutionalism is restored in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general."

The APC NEC commended Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi, saying it was proud of him in the face of "serial unprovoked and unwarranted assaults" on him and the people of the state.

According to the party, the governor's conduct in response to the situation represents APC's maturity and compliance with the rule of law.

"Any cursory observer of events in Rivers State since February 2013 will be left in no doubt as to the culture of lawlessness and impunity being promoted and supported by the Presidency, and executed by the commissioner of police, Rivers State Command, Mr Joseph Mbu, who has become the de facto military governor of Rivers State and sole administrator of the PDP in the state," APC said.

The party continued by citing instances of lawlessness and violations of the constitution in the state as the forceful dispersal of 13, 201 newly recruited teachers in the Port Harcourt stadium, blockading the entrance to the Government House in Port Harcourt and forcing Amaechi to use another entrance, preventing an aircraft carrying the governor from taking off on allegation of carrying a wanted person, and, of recent, the disruption of a rally during which Senator Magnus Abe was shot, among others.

But the man at the centre of the matter, Governor Amaechi, avoided journalists, who laid a siege to the party secretariat from 9am until about 5pm when the meeting finally ended. Amaechi went straight to his waiting car and took off, driving himself.

No plan to form new APC - Tinubu, Marwa

Meanwhile, the APC stalwarts have dismissed reports that some persons were on the verge of forming 'new APC'.

A leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said the conspicuous absence of some prominent members of the party at the NEC meeting was not a pointer to disaffection. Tinubu said any member of the party is at liberty to excuse him or herself from party functions.

Also, a former military administrator of Lagos State and chieftain of APC, General Buba Marwa, dismissed talks of a possible plan to form a faction of the party to be known as 'new APC', saying such thinking was the antic of mischief makers.

According to a statement signed by Bello Zubairu on his behalf, Marwa said he was completely unaware of any such move. He said, "I know nothing about it. Nobody has brought such things to my knowledge. I am neither party to nor did I sit with anyone or group to discuss such a move."

APC has Begun onslaught on Nigeria - PDP

Meanwhile, the PDP has described the directive by the APC National Executive Committee that their members in the National Assembly should stall the passage of the 2014 budget and the confirmation of new service chiefs as a direct call for anarchy.

According to the PDP, the stance of the APC is a vindication of PDP's earlier position that the APC is out to destroy the institution of democracy and the unity of the nation.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this yesterday in Abuja, saying that with the anti people directives, Nigerians can now see that the PDP was not crying wolf when it alerted that the APC does not mean well for the nation.

The PDP said, "In asking that service chiefs should not be confirmed by the Senate, the APC has revealed its devilish plot to undermine the nation's security system, create a state of anarchy and pave way to unleash mayhem on the people".

"In trying to frustrate the passage of the 2014 budget, the APC has also exposed its plot to cripple the nation's economy and plunge the people into untold hardship".

According to the PDP, by attempting to cause confusion in the National Assembly, which is the citadel of democracy, it is now clear to all Nigerians the APC has commenced the implementation of its orchestrated plot to truncate the nation's democracy and push the country into a state of chaos and achieve its doomsday predictions; a plot which must be stopped.

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