•Acting Caretaker Committee Chairman, ISAAC OGBUBOLA Explains
Friday 7th of May, 2021 came like an ordinary day. But somehow, something played out and one of the most sought-after politicians and Lawyers, Barrister Isaac Abbot Ogbubola, the acting Caretaker Committee Chairman of All Progressives Congress-APC Rivers State chapter played host to City People Magazine Bureau Chief, EMEKA AMAEFULA (+2348111813069) and some other journalists who visited him at his Headquarters 63 Aba Road Port Harcourt Rivers State.
In the interaction that followed, the smart-looking young ebullient orator and emerging political figure in Rivers State spoke intelligently about the future of his party ahead of the 2023 governorship election in Rivers State, assuring party faithful not to despair that APC will form the next government in Rivers State under free and fair democratic contest. Below are excerpts of the chat.
Recently, the leader of APC in Rivers State Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said that the governorship candidate of the party should come from the party. Has the party settled for power shift to river, based on a dichotomy of Upland and Riverine, Barrister Isaac Abbott Ogbubola said “On the pronouncement of the Minister for Transportation shows character. that pronouncement shows the character in him as the man has been consistent from 2014/2015 that as much as the power of being the governor of Rivers State is concerned why can’t you allow the other component parts of the state to occupy that number one seat of the state. And come to think of it before power shifted to up-land, you were all here and you knew what was happening before when we had Bayelsa and Rivers State together so, those who were in charge of our affairs at the time we started this new democracy that brought in Dr. Peter Odili, those who were in charge of our affairs who could take everything, they were all Riverine people. We had elder Dr Marshall Harry and A.K Dikibo and Tonye Graham Douglas TOG, they were all there and they were in charge. If they had wanted to retain the power they would have done so, but they said no against all odds, in fact going against their own brother Chief, Ebenezer Isokrari as they tactically handed power over to Dr. Peter Odili. And then where we are, we don’t want to concede power to the Riverine. So, if today we say okay that prior to the election the Northerners insist that they have the strength and that they have the population and that they have what it takes to retain the power to the North and we will be happy down here in the South, No. We are agitating for power to shift, to return back to the South. So, the same measure is the same thing we are advocating for Riverine and somebody said that power should go to that side and some people feel that no and they are saying no. I think he is being fair enough and he is being consistent. That is his character.”
While on the issue of the state policy implementations by the incumbent administration of Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Rivers state, he said “APC is a party in Rivers State that nobody should ignore and nobody can ignore. Call it a Social Media, a club or whatever you want to call it but I can tell you that each time we speak, each time that there is a conference each time that there is anything to be said and when it comes to the issue of All Progressives Congress APC in the state, somebody quakes and shakes and when statements are made by some persons in our party you can see how it is analyzed and dissected properly. So, APC is not a paper party, it is not a social media, social club, or an association as the case may be, this is a political party that is properly registered viable and vibrant and ready to go.”
On the issue of ongoing reconciliation of aggrieved party members with his team, he said “We have reconciliation committees here and at the zonal and national levels for those who want their genuine grievances to be looked into and they are given that opportunity to be heard. Yesterday or so, His Excellency Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto state was at Cross River State for reconciliation purposes. We have our own for the genuine authentic party members, party man or party woman come before these bodies and present your grievances. If you have cause to present your complaints then you are entitled. If you do not present your complaints how are you going to be invited? But beyond that, immediately after the Supreme court judgment after we made usual notices and all that statements, we sent out messages. Personally, I sent out messages on behalf of the Caretaker Committee to everybody who is a stakeholder. We got acknowledgement from some and some ignored and some came first to express their absence or apologize for their absence. Perhaps some of them like Dr. Elugwe was in the USA at that time and then he sent greetings to the people and all that to the chairman and all others. And we had a full house of de crème-de-la crème of who’s who in the party of the state. Beyond that, during the ongoing revalidation and registration exercise which is still ongoing in the state, it hasn’t really ended because the national has not said anything as they are with all the materials and all the things like that. We went on air and we were everywhere in the media to see that it was open for everybody who is interested in remaining or becoming a member of the party as the exercise was going on everywhere. So that is to say that the party is just there for you come in and be part of the party, contribute your quota and let us move on.”
The Rivers State All Progressives Congress APC is currently poised to challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State as the party which is holding political power. The government at the Federal level is now re-energized to take over the realms of power come 2023 governorship election in Rivers State. The Caretaker Committee Chairman of APC said confidently that APC will launch itself back to relevance.