The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu on Friday at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja spoke to journalists on wide-ranging issues relating to the elections.
Theses issues are the party’s reaction on Supreme Court Ruling on APC Rivers Governorship Candidate; the Party’s affirmation of Senator Ayogu Eze as Enugu State governorship candidate; Imo APC suspension of the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha; comments by the Kaduna State Governor Nasir Elrufai on foreign interference in our elections; Niger east senatorial candidate; recent Police redeployments and the Party’s preparedness for the forthcoming elections.
Supreme Court ruling on APC Rivers Candidates=
Our legal department is looking into the judgment of the Supreme Court. It is not the kind of judgment we looked forward to base on the facts that we are aware of. The only option before us now is to review this judgment and see what other means that is legal. We think we deserve to field candidates in Rivers state. We know we did the right thing. We had our primaries even though there are issues around it…Our legal department will review the outcome of this as unpalatable as it is and we will be able to say categorically the next step we might be taking and come out with it in due course.
Party’s affirmation of Senator Ayogu Eze as Enugu State Governorship Candidate
In Enugu state, we are aware of the judgment that says our candidate; Senator Ayogu Eze is not the rightful candidate. We would say that we have acknowledged the judgment of the court but we do know the party followed the procedure and the processes that led to the emergence of Senator Ayogu Eze is what this party believes in. We believe that the Appeal Court will do the right thing and upturning it. Senator Ayogu Eze remains in the eyes of the party, the governorship candidate for Enugu state. The person that has been so declared by a court is unknown to this party because he did not even participate in the primaries that we organised. So there is no way he could have emerged as our candidate. Again, as I speak to you we have appealed the judgement and secured a stay of execution.
Court decision on Party’s Niger east senatorial candidate
We stand by our process, our process stand up to scrutiny. Take it to anywhere; we are sure we did the right thing without prejudice to what the lower court has said that is why we have the opportunity of an appeal to the higher court.
Imo APC suspension of State Governor
We are aware of the situation in Imo and we have made our point clear. Let me reiterate that APC does not have an alliance with any party including the Action Alliance. We are not in alliance with any party whatsoever in this election. … In Imo and all the thirty-six states, including the FCT, we are campaigning for APC candidates and we expect APC candidates to win elections anywhere we are campaigning in a free and fair atmosphere.
We are also aware of the fact the Party’s local chapter has taken some disciplinary action as regards the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. … In due course the NWC will meet and that may be one of the issues that will be considered. As at today, the real issue in Imo is to emphasise the fact that APC is supporting all APC candidates in Imo and we do not recognise candidates that are not from the APC. We encourage the people of Imo to vote massively for APC candidates. The governorship candidate in Imo remains Senator Hope Uzodinma.
Comments by Governor Nasir El-rufai on foreign interference in our elections
We stand fully by the statement as regards any country that thinks we are a colony; that we have a right to defend every inch of this country; and we are not a banana republic. So what Governor El rufai said clearly is the position of this government that we are proud as Nigerians and we are ready to defend the integrity of this country and that any country that thinks in the name of election will want to interfere and dictate to us or intimidate us in any way, it is unacceptable. That is exactly what Governor Elrufai has said. Governor Elrufai never said people should not come and observe or monitor elections. And he was not referring to people who are genuinely coming to monitor and observe the elections. Nigerians also go to other countries as monitors and observers. So that is acceptable to us, we welcome peer review. What we don’t welcome and what is unacceptable to us is any country thinking we are a colony, we are not. We are a sovereign nation.
APC Preparedness for elections
The APC has been working on a daily basis through our activities in terms of implementation of policy and programmes that touch on the common people. These are what we are now showcasing to the public as a means of telling them that the change we promised is actually taking place; seeking a renewal of the mandate they gave us almost four years ago
Recent Police redeployment
Few weeks ago, it was the same PDP that was crying that the police have been compromised and that the former Inspector General of Police was poised to deliver the election to APC. Now the president has taken the position by appointing a new IGP. Now I don’t know where the noise is coming from…