By Kolawole Ojebisi
There are strong indications that the leadership crisis rocking the Rivers state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) may have worsened at the weekend, with two factions of the party in the State clashing over the announced replacement of the Deputy National Secretary of the party, Chief Victor Giadom, by Chief Worgu Boms.
The choice of Chief Worgu Boms, a former Attorney General and commissioner for Justice in Rivers state, as a replacement for Giadom was announced on Saturday by Chief Hillard Eta, the Acting National Chairman of the APC who was named as standing in for Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Senator Ajimobi is believed to be indisposed on health grounds.
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In response to the request from the party’s Headquarters for Giadom’s replacement, the APC Executive Committee in Rivers State, which is believed to be loyal to a former Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, had recommended Chief Boms, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of the State.
The APC National Working Committee, NWC, had called for the replacement of Giadom, on grounds that his position has become vacant. According to the NWC Chief Giadom’s position had been declared vacant, when he resigned his position to contest the 2019 election as a running mate to the then Rivers State Governorship Candidate, Chief Tonye Cole.
Given this divergent position, it was gathered that supporters of the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi, and those of Senator Magnus Abe, who have been at loggerheads, clashed at the weekend, over the said replacement of Giadom with Boms.
Speaking on Saturday, the Acting National Chairman of the party, Chief Abiola Ajimobi, who spoke through the National Vice Chairman (South-South), Chief Hilliard Eta, said that the National Secretariat had received communication from the Rivers State Chapter of the party, with respect to the replacement of Giadom as Deputy National Secretary.
His words: “You are aware that on Friday, a competent court of jurisdiction declared Chief Victor Giadom, as not being a member of the National Working Committee, and should never parade himself as such.
“Even before then, there was a resolution by the NWC, asking the Southern zone of the party, which I head, to transmit a name for his replacement, or filling of the vacancy made possible by his resignation to contest as the Deputy Governorship Candidate of our party in Rivers State.
“I want to announce to the world that I am in receipt of the name of a distinguished member of this party from Rivers State, to the zone for ratification in the person of Worgu Boms, a former Attorney-General of Rivers State. His name has been transmitted to my good Office, and I want to announce that in the earliest time possible, the South-South zonal Executive Committee will meet and ratify that name, and send the same to the NWC of our great party.”
This announcement,however, did not go down with the Amaechi’s faction which is believed to be backing Giadom for the Acting National Chairman position Similarly, Abe’s faction insists that Bom’s nomination was based on the request of the NWC. But Amaechi’s faction has continued to describe the replacement of Giadom as “a joke”.
Livingstone Weche, the Media Adviser to Aguma, the Acting Chairman of the State APC, said: “The National Working Committee requested Rivers State to submit a replacement, and we have done so, and they have accepted it and made it public.”
But in its reaction, Amaechi’s faction kicked against Giadom’s replacement. A former Publicity Secretary of the party in the State, Chris Finebone, said that the position Boms was nominated to occupy, is not vacant.
He noted: “Maybe this is arising from Igo Aguma, that he has submitted a nomination to fill the position; it is a long way to that situation…
“So, before you begin to talk of replacement, that is a different ball game altogether, and we cannot talk about it, because those who claim that they have made his seat vacant are, impostors.”