BSome members of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State on Thursday, marched to the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Port Harcourt, demanding that their candidates be relisted on the ballot papers.
They caused a holdup along the arterial Aba Road where INEC office is located and demanded that INEC should obey the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt which on Wednesday directed INEC to relist APC on the ballot.
But at a press conference later at its state secretariat, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone, said the understanding of party leaders in the state was that the courts have directed that APC candidates can contest the election and so, its members and supporters should come out on Saturday to vote for APC.
“After a meeting of the State Working Committee of our party in the state today in which we meticulously deliberated on the recent court rulings of various courts especially the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday to further re-affirm two earlier orders that stayed the execution of the judgments of the lower court, our conclusion is that the APC and its candidates will now, most certainly, be on the ballot this Saturday. No order or judgment given since, including orders given by the Supreme Court on both jurisdiction and representation have said otherwise,” the party said in a statement at the briefing.
Finebone commended the Court of Appeal on its decisions on the stay of execution. “These decisions mean that nothing is stopping INEC from placing APC on the ballot. We welcome the moves by INEC to put us back on the ballot, as the alternative would have confirmed once and for all, the genuine fear that they are working for the PDP.
“In the circumstances, we urge INEC to speedily implement the rule of law and return our great party to its rightful place. We are only demanding a right to compete,” he said.
He also praised the Supreme Court to refuse moves by Senator Magnus Abe to appeal the stays of execution. “It means that the stays still subsist. That is the clear position of the law.
“We have passed the stage of worrying if we will be on the ballot. We must now prepare to punish those who have been trying to keep us out of the elections with our votes. With these same votes, we must give Mr. President our full support. He stood by our leader because our leader had always stood by him and if you want to keep getting what you are getting, you have to keep doing what you are doing.