The National Working Committee of the African Action Congress has suspended the executive committee of the Rivers State chapter of the party.
The suspension of the committee members followed the endorsement of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sir Siminialaye Fubara, by the Inter-Party Advisory Council, where the state chairman of the AAC, Dr Chukwunenye Kocha, was listed as one of the signees to the endorsement.
A notice signed by the National Secretary of the AAC, Ina Agu, sent to The PUNCH on Wednesday, said after its fact-finding meeting, Kocha was found “complicit” in the endorsement.
“Consequently, relying on Section 49 (iii), and Section 52 (iiL) of the constitution of the party (2018), the NWC hereby suspends the State Executive Committee of the party indefinitely,” the statement said.
It said the suspension “is with immediate effect.”
It said, “As a result, the NWC hereby appoints the following individuals to a Steering Committee to administer the state chapter pending further directive from the central leadership: Ken Henshaw (Chairman); Enefaa Georgewill (Secretary); Tonye Sippoto-Pepple (Member) and Oshiokue Philip (Liaison to the NWC).”
The PUNCH reports that IPAC and an Atiku Abubakar Support Group in Rivers State last week adopted Fubara as their candidate, urging the electorate in the state to vote for the candidate during the governorship poll in the interest of fairness.
The AAC immediately dissociated itself from this in a statement via its Twitter handle, saying “@aacparty completely distances itself from this shenanigan and was never part of the endorsement of @GovWike’s candidate Sim Fubara.”
When contacted last week Thursday, the then AAC chairman, Kocha, whose name was listed as part of the IPAC signees, said he was not at the meeting that endorsed Fubara.
“Yes, my name was quoted but I wasn’t there. So I had to call the IPAC leadership, they said they thought I would be there.
“But that’s not how things are done, I had some other engagements and I was not there,” he told our correspondent in a phone conversation.
When asked whether the party was part of the endorsement, Kocha said, “Well, we were not there, I mean if we were there, we would have been part of it, we were not there, we had some other engagements yesterday. In fact, we had a rally yesterday (for) one our Assembly candidates, that was where I was and some other domestic issues.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission has scheduled governorship elections in the country for Saturday, March 18, after it shifted the elections by a week from March 11.
The electoral body has begun the distribution of sensitive materials in states for the election which is now in two days time.