The process of electing a governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in next year’s election has been enmeshed in controversies.
This was as Ojukaye Flag Amachree is holding indirect primaries as appproved by the national leadership of the party, while the Senator Magnus Abe-led faction of the APC has gone ahead to conduct a direct primaries.
Senator Abe-led faction is holding primaries which is reportedly not being monitored by the Jafar Lawal Isa-led APC Governorship primaries committee and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
While this was ongoing, one of the Governoship aspirants, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs called for the postponement of the primaries.
Dumo Lulu Briggs told newsmen that indicators show that the minimum standards to guarantee a free and fair governorship primary are non existent because of some biases.
It would be recalled that Lulu-Briggs had expressed his support for direct primaries but decided to go along with the decision of the National Working Committee of the APC which approved indirect primaries for Rivers State.
He said, “Unfortunately, events leading to governorship primary in Rivers State have witnessed the following anomalies that have robbed it of the minimum acceptable standard that can guarantee its credibility.
“That the Rivers State Executive Committee has openly supported and canvassed support for Arch. Tonye Cole, the preferred aspirant of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.
“That State Delegates to the primary were not elected by party members in proper ward congresses but merely handpicked by the Rivers State Executive Committee.
“That in spite of the flawed process in which the so-called State Delegates were selected, the list of delegates and the guideline for the primary have not been made public. Our request to the State Executive Committee yesterday, Saturday, 29th of September, 2018, less than twenty four hours to the primary date for the list of delegates and guidelines yielded no fruit rather we were referred to the National Executive Committee of our great party.
“That we have intercepted text messages sent by officials of the State Exco to these handpicked delegates to assemble at secret locations for accreditation and transportation to an undisclosed venue for the primary.
“It is clear from the foregoing that the minimum standards to guarantee a free and fair governorship primary are non existent and Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has decided not to give credence to this obvious charade and hereby calls for its postponement.”
In the meantime, the Rivers state Police Command has said adequate security has been put in place, and that the command will carry out its responsibilities according to the law.