SUPREME COURT: TThe ruling All Progressives Congress may be going into the 2019 general elections, which begins with the presidential poll on Saturday with a huge baggage, having already lost about 66 Assembly seats even before the commencement of the polls.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out an appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt barring the party from presenting candidates in Rivers State for the general elections.
But there are three other pending appeals on the controversial primaries of the party in Rivers State.
The Supreme Court judgement so far on Rivers APC implied that the APC has lost 32 House of Assembly seats, 13 House of Representatives positions, three senatorial positions, as well as governorship and deputy governorship seats.
The number includes the loss so far in Zamfara, where INEC has maintained its position that it would not list the APC candidates in the state for election, following alleged non conduct of party primaries.
Though the party has seriously challenged that position in court, the implication, could imply also that APC would loss 24 House of Assembly seats, seven House of Represent seats, three senatorial seats, as well the seat of State governor and deputy governor, if the Supreme court upholds INEC’s position, with barely three days to the commence,ment of the elections.
Expressing his sadness and displeasure with the hard position during the APC presidential campaign in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the party’s presidential candidate for Saturday’s election said the decision of the Supreme Court to bar the All Progressives Congress from participating in all elections (except the Presidential poll) in Rivers State was a huge blow to the party ahead of the polls.
The President said, “I am very disturbed by the decision that we are not allowed to participate in some of the processes. I have no doubt that I got elected but I have to respect the institutions that I inherited. I assure you and I recommend that you remain patient and resolute. We will ensure that justice is done in this country.”
The Zamfara APC has however intensified efforts to ensure that its candidates participate in the elections; with Governor Abdul Aziz Yari threatening that there would be no election in the State without the APC
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday accused the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, of influencing a high court judgment against the All Progressives Congress in the state.
Amaechi, who addressed the APC supporters at the presidential rally regretted that the governor had betrayed him after being recommended for ministerial appointment during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that he would be ready to battle Wike and his supporters during Saturday’s election
He said, “Whatever Wike wants on Saturday, we will give him. Whatever the PDP wants in Rivers State, we are equal to the task. It’s as simple as that. It gets to a stage where a man must be a man. Your Excellency, I’m not going to Abuja anymore. I am here from today till election day.
“In 2015, the army tried to arrest me as a sitting governor. You have a governor who is busy lobbying us, trying to negotiate with us, ‘Let us give you presidency, you give me governor.’ He is afraid. We will battle him to the last. On Saturday, they should get ready.
“The support we want is that the President should just thank us when we finish. We are ready for them. They used federal and state institutions against us. They kill our people, APC people, every day; cut off their necks every day. The right to choose our leaders to stop the killings — they got a state high court judge to give judgment.”