The South-South Zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has blamed the current attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region on the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying the attacks were sponsored to derail President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
APC stakeholders, who also praised Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for his “commendable performance” in the delivery of infrastructure, noted that the June 18 primary of the party in the state will be free and fair.
In a communiqué, party leaders from the five states in the South–South at a Stakeholders meeting in Benin City, at the weekend, noted that it was erroneous for agitators for the state of Biafra to categorise any part of the South-South as part of constituency, saying the “Niger Delta is not, cannot, and will never be part of Biafra”.
The communiqué reads in part: “The Zone commends the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on his performance in his first year in office, support his fight against corruption and his effort to restructure the country’s dwindling economy and building a viable Nigeria.
“The Zone acknowledges the commendable performance of the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the delivery of infrastructure and other dividends of governance to the good people of Edo State.
“The Zone notes the upsurge of the renewed militancy in the area, in the name of ‘The Avengers’ and condemns its activities in its entirety. The Zone does not believe that their nefarious activities are driven by any patriotic fervor, rather we have cause to believe that they are instigated by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to derail President Buhari’s government in order to avoid the long arm of the law on their criminal activities while in government.
“The Zone notes the present agitation for the State of Biafra and the inclusion of the Niger Delta in the map of the constituency representing the Biafra State.
“The Zone states unequivocally that Niger Delta is not, cannot, will never be and can never be part of Biafra”
The South-South APC also urged the national secretariat of the party to provide a level-playing field for all aspirants of the party in Edo State while it praised President Muhammadu Buhari for commencing the clean-up of Ogoniland as recommended by UNEP.
Earlier, Governor Oshiomhole had assured that the All Progressives Congress (APC) wouldl conduct free and fair primaries in the state.
Said he, “In the contest of the forthcoming election, I am happy that we have some of the aspirants in this room. I have spoken to them over and again. Our party has a tradition; elections are conducted by the national body, not by the state chapter of the party. And we are fortunate to have at the national body the very head coming from Edo State. So, the primary should be free and fair. It is not a choice. It is not a favour.”
On his part, National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun who was represented on the occasion by the Deputy National Chairman, Engr. Segun Oni said, “we are the incumbent government here, and as the incumbent government, our government has done very well. so, we can campaign in the name of the government, and we know the reaction of the people will be positive. In spite of this, we will not rest on our oars. We know that the opposition has reduced itself to a rag-tag army. As at the last count, they already have about three and half chief executives already running the party together.”
He continued, “I am sure a state that is as sophisticated as Edo State, and its people who have always been in the forefront in the fight for liberty, the fight for progressive politics cannot put their destiny in the hands of people who cannot manage themselves. Therefore, we know when the time comes, they will only be regarded as jokers. Therefore, it is a done deal, but we will not rest on our oars.”
National Vice-Chairman, South-South, of the party, Prince Hilliard Eta said, “While celebrating a distinguished Governor and the party in Edo, this gathering of progressives today should be used as a unique occasion for reflecting on the successful consummation of the merger process of the legacy parties that formed our great party and the journey so far. It is also an opportunity to put our immediate past in perspective to remind ourselves of the obligations and assurances we have given and would have to continue to give to Nigerians as we assume the onerous task of fixing the country.”
He said, “Let me urge all the aspirants that are contesting the party primaries to play by the rules; there should be no campaign of calumny, no fighting, and no bigotry. As we go into the primary election, one mindset is real, one of you will emerge and whoever that person is, he is a candidate of all and his subsequent victory will be for all. For us as a party, we want to come back to Edo, have a roundtable with all of the aspirants and the candidate and decide on how to jointly move Edo forward from where Governor Oshiomhole has left it.”