By Dipo Awojobi – The National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, has described last Saturday’s rerun elections in Rivers State as a disgrace for Nigeria, warning that the violence and brigandage that characterised the process must be nipped in the bud, before it spread to other parts of Nigeria.
The APC Chairman who briefed the Press at after the meeting sounded poetic while lamenting over the bloodletting that attended the Rivers rerun poll.
Said he: “O Rivers, Rivers, it is a disgrace. That is the only thing one can say. Some of the things that happened and some of the killings that happened would never have been able to happen in this country.
“But the assurance we can give you and the assurance Mr President has given us is that these issues will be vigorously addressed. People must not get away with that level of dastardly act and killings of the most bestial act and in no circumstance must behaviour like this be allowed to spread to the rest of the country because unless you address it, you are infact inviting other states to set up their own military wing.”
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun also spoke on the highlights of the NEC meeting, disclosing that the NEC reviewed its experiences since the last elections.
“We have taken decisions as to where our strengths were, where we did not quite measure up and all these are going to be addressed.
“For the first time, NEC has established a budget for the party and we have set up a committee to look once more into the constitution of the party to be able to streamline it.”
He also revealed moves by the party to reduce the size of its Board of Trustees, along with all other constitutional amendments.
“We don’t have any particular number, but it is going to be seriously downsized. The committee will be headed by the National Legal Adviser. We will put our head together on that, in the next one day or two there may be need to hold on a little bit.”
On finding a replacement for Mr. Lai Mohammed, the party’s former National Publicity Secretary, who is now the Minister of Information and Culture, Oyegun said it is a constitutional issue.
“These are constitutional matters. The zone (North central) has to now propose a replacement. It is part of the decisions of today that we are going to have congresses all over the nation to fill all vacancies at all levels of the party which resulted from victory at the election by party officials who decided to contest, appointments at federal level and at state levels.
“There are a lot of vacancies and we need congresses because that is what the constitution provides. No day has been fixed for the congresses because we just took the decision today and we are going to work on it.”