Scores of supporters of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) yesterday staged a peaceful protest calling on the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National working committee (NWC) to field Senator Magnus Abe as the Rivers State governorship candidate of the party for the 2019 poll.
The protesters who beseiged the national secretariat of the party to press home their demands particularly called on the leadership of the party to comply with the order by a Rivers State High court that nullified the candidature of Prince Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of the party in Rivers State.
The annulment came on the heels of the court pronouncement that declared that all actions taken by the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led executive of the state APC, including the indirect governorship primary conducted by a faction of the party led by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, had been set aside.
Anosike Odowa, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, believed that the court order was in line with the wishes and aspiration of the supporters of the party who are keen on wrestling power from Governor Nyesom Wike-led People's democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers state.
Odowa said: "If APC wants to win Rivers State, then Magnus Abe is the Governor of Rivers state. We will stop at nothing, we will fight our last strength to ensure that justice must prevail. We are stakeholders in this party and I will advice the National Chairman to be upright and tell Rotimi Amaechi should stop pushing Cole. This party is not Amaechi Peoples Party, it is APC and not Amaechi Personal property.
"We want to ask that the National Chairman should live up to expectation and do the right thing. We know him to be a man who is upright but he should not allow his integrity to be questioned in this matter. Rivers state is for direct primaries and Magnus Abe emerged winner of the direct primaries."
Bethel Okojaja, who also spoke, faulted the notion held in certain quarters that Abe was doing the bidding of Wike in Rivers state.
"We want to say without fear and contradiction that Senator Magnus Abe is a true APC member, he has never betrayed the confidence reposed in him. When Mangus went to receive the bullet of behalf of the party, everybody was saying that 'this is a true APC member'," Okojaja said.
"He remains the only committed APC member that has worked for this party. You recall that in 2015, when PDP won election in Rivers state and it was nullified and in December 2016 to be precise that election was conducted. The only man who won his senatorial district is Magnus Abe."
Some of the placards brandished by the protesters carried inscriptions as "We say no to imposition" , "Direct primaries is democracy, APC obey court verdict in Rivers state", "NWC must obey NEC decision", " Oshiomhole should not ridicule himself because of Rivers matter. He should allow the will of Rivers state people to prevail."