In response to the situation in Rivers State and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the All Progressives Congress (APC) today directed 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.
The party also decided that if acts of impunity and lawlessness continue in the State and the Police persist in being an enforcement arm of the PDP to the detriment of its members, it would ask its teeming members all over the country and especially in Rivers to take whatever steps are necessary to protect their lives and property.
The unprecedented decisions arose at the 8th regular meeting of the APC Interim National Executive Committee.
According to a statement by the party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the event was attended by top party leaders, including General Muhammadu Buhari Rtd, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as well as the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Edo, Nasarawa, Kwara, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Sokoto, Ekiti and Ogun States. Also present were the Deputy Governors of Oyo, Imo, Kano and Zamfara States, members of the Interim NEC, as well as the leadership of the party in the National Assembly. The meeting was chaired by the Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.
Mohammed said the NEC commended the courage, maturity and political sagacity of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in the face of serial unprovoked and unwarranted assaults on his person, his constitutional rights and those of the Government and People of Rivers State.
“The conduct of Governor Amaechi represents our Party’s maturity and compliance with the rule of law in response to escalating impunity,” he said. “The APC is very proud of him.”
It noted that any cursory observer of events in the state since February 2013 would be left in no doubt as to the culture of lawlessness and impunity being promoted and supported by the Presidency, and executed by the State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who has become the de facto military Governor of Rivers State and sole administrator of the PDP in the State.
He cited instances of the brazen lawlessness and violations of the Constitution in the state to include the forceful dispersal of 13,201 newly recruited teachers in the Port Harcourt Stadium using tear gas; blockading the entrance to the Government House in Port Harcourt and forcing the State Governor to use another entrance; preventing an aircraft chartered by the State Governor from taking off, alleging that the Governor was trying to smuggle out a legislator wanted by the Police, for which no apology was offered to the Governor; the disruption of a peaceful rally during which Senator Magnus Abe was shot with intent to kill; the several disruptions of Save Rivers Group rallies, and the unlawful detention of anybody perceived to be a sympathizer of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, while allowing pro-Jonathan and Anti-Amaechi groups to organize rallies unmolested.
APC’s new decisions could start to have an immediate impact in the country in view of the recent change in the dynamics of the legislature, where power now tilts in its favour. In the House of Representatives, the numbers are now on the side of the APC following the defection of many members from the PeoplesDemocratic Party, while several members are also set to defect in the Senate.
Three days ago, nearly half of the Senate membership wrote a letter to their leadership warning against underground efforts to declare vacant the seats of those members who choose to join other political parties.
In the past, members who defected to the PDP were warmly welcomed and treated as heroes, but they did not have their seats declared vacant as the PDP is now considering doing. The matter is in court.