A Port Harcourt newspaper, Treasure Base, conducted an interview with Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, Spokesman for the APC in Rivers State.
The interview covered a wide range of topical issues, including developments within the APC and the PDP.
Here are excerpts:
Treasure Base: What does the dissolution of all structures of the party mean to you and members of your party?
Chief Nwuke: The APC is commendably working hard to ensure that internal democracy reigns within the party while at the same time creating a level playing field for all. Across the country, the composition of some structures have been the source of conflict and internal crisis.
In my view and the view of well meaning members of our great party what NEC has done is to dissolve existing structures and turn those same structures into Caretaker organs which would now be in position to work with the National Secretariat in organizing congresses that are expected to elect new party leadership.
It is our hope that the APC would become more united, resilient, focused and strong as a result of the positive steps that are being taken.
Of course, you know that since the dissolution of the NWC, the Buni-led Caretaker Committee has been working round the clock to bring everyone together under one roof. The decision to extend the lifespan of the Committee is no doubt a vote of confidence on the current leadership. Within six months, we hope to validate our membership, create room for party discipline and prepare the path for 2023.
The plan is not to target anyone through the dissolution of subsisting structures. Rather, we think that it provides a unique opportunity for everyone to be a partaker in the activities of our great party.
Treasure Base: The APC has granted waivers to new members. What do you think of this now that we are dealing with the outcome of NEC?
Chief Nwuke: The move is a masterstroke. Before now, new members were obligated to spend at least two years in the wings waiting to contest or aspire to office. That burden has been removed by the party.
When we say as Progressives that new party members are entitled to all privileges enjoyed by older members, there is no doubt that we mean it. You can see that the party is busy creating a level playing ground for all who have something to contribute to the advancement of our State and country.
Those who are leaving other parties and joining the APC know they would not be segregated against by anyone.
Treasure Base: We have learnt that the registration exercise designed by your party is being challenged in court in Rivers State.
Chief Nwuke: We have heard so. For us, the party Constitution allows for this process to take place from time to time in order to update our membership register. Given the inflow of new entrants into the party, the fact that some may have left our ranks or died within this period, there is nothing technically wrong with the idea.
How does the decision of the party to update its register hurt anyone? What injury would they suffer? No one who wants to register as a member has been excluded from the registration exercise by the mere mention of it. On what ground are these litigants basing their claim in court?
You can see that the entire idea of the suit in court is speculative. Our laws are not based on speculation. Judges deal with facts and we are waiting to see how the case will play out in court.
I am inclined to think that those who have gone to court are being mischievous. They are those we refer to as active members of the APC during the day who at night do the bidding of the PDP. But let me add that these people are going against the rational decisions that are taken for the benefit of party cohesion and party discipline.
In the meantime, there are reports that the party has placed the proposed registration exercise on hold. It is our expectation that the High Court in Okrika would eventually take note of this when actual litigation begins.
Treasure Base: Finally, what do you think of the future of the APC in Rivers State?
Chief Nwuke: The future is bright. You can see the caliber of persons who are joining our party. They are heavyweights and more are coming over soon. When you add these developments to the commitment of our party members who have remained resolute, it is not difficult to understand what will happen in Rivers State.
Governor Nyesom Wike will wake up one morning only to find out that he and the cabal that he leads are what is left of the PDP.
We are encouraged by the fact that despite efforts to discredit our leader, Rotimi Amaechi and his efforts to serve the Nigerian people, Rivers people are believing increasingly in the APC and the ability of their son to deliver dividends of democracy. The PDP is crumbling. We are waiting to bury it.
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