Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed for patience for the national leadership to reconcile the waring factions of the party in Rivers.
Ganduje said this when he received APC stakeholders from Rivers on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that Rivers was a very important state in the country because of its oil deposit and large population, describing it as an asset for election to any political party.
“So you can see why we cannot rubbish the state, Rivers as a state in politics, is very important. Coincidentally, some of us are conversant with the politics, in Rivers,” he said.
He said that the current crisis in the Rivers chapter of the party started in 2015.
“Our party in Rivers is highly factionalised, that is the fact about it. Our party in Rivers was killed by litigations, that one is a fact,” Ganduje said.
He thanked those who worked to ensure the party’s electoral success at the poll, saying it was a miracle that it won the presidential election and lost the state in the 2023 election.
“There is confusion in the party in Rivers, but we don’t want members to over heat the system, we are focused, we are organised, we work scientifically in politics.
“And therefore, you give us an enabling environment, give us a chance so that we can put a round peg in a round hole, square peg in a square hole, so that we maintain our dignity as a party.
“We have to capitalise on what we have, we have to capitalise on the fact that we have worn the national election in Rivers.
“We are not extracting anything less again, but give us a chance to see how we can have both the state and the national election together,” Ganduje said.
He said that the APC National Committee (NWC) would constitute a leadership that would reconcile the waring factions in the state in the interest of its members.
“But do not overheat the system, overheating the system will bring litigation and then a vicious cycle will come again.
“We don’t want too much analysis because they say too much analysis leads to paralysis.
“So give us a chance so that we can consult, so that we look at the Constitution of APC and then we wait and see how we can put things in order,” he said.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr Tony Okocha, said the visit was partly to express discomfort of the state stakeholders over the recent visit of a faction of the state chapter to the party’s national secretariat.
“Those who visited are pretenders masquerading as members of Rivers APC.
“These group of persons who we liken as watermelon, with the characteristic feature of presenting green in the outside but red in the inside.
“Have long abandoned the APC and are disqualified from speaking for the APC Rivers in any forum or fora.
“Those persons never supported the party nor are they sincere in their hearts, to be happy that President Bola Tinubu made it to the presidency,” he said.
He added: “The only group in APC Rivers legitimate to seek compensation for the victory of APC and Tinubu in the State, is the one here.
“Please contact us through the leader of the political infantry in Rivers, who is serving in the Federal Cabinet presently.”
Okacha urged the APC national chairman to discountenance any other groups that claimed to be APC Rivers stakeholders or individuals, especially those that don’t support the party at the 2023 general elections.