The African Action Congress has distanced itself from the purported endorsement of the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Sir Siminialaye Fubara.
The Oyo State chapter of the party, in a statement by its Chairman, Kayode Babayomi, made available to , also said the party was not in alliance with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Teslim Folarin.
Dismissing any possible negotiation with the APC, Babayomi said, “We wish to restate that the AAC is not a vehicle for anti-people negotiations or alliances. We have not endorsed any individual or political party, despite the fact that the governorship candidate of our party, Mr Mojeed Okedara, has been expelled for anti-party activities. This is already public knowledge.”
Also, reports in the media (Not The PUNCH) on Wednesday, had stated that the Inter-Party Advisory Council, and an Atiku Abubakar Support Group in Rivers State adopted Fubara as their candidate, urging electorate in the state to vote for the candidate during the governorship poll in the state in the interest fairness.
IPAC, which disclosed this after its meeting in Port Harcourt, noted that the development was for the sake of power rotation in the oil-rich state and equity, noting that the decision was not borne out of politics.
The communique was jointly signed by Atata Kenneth, Dagogo Whyte Kendrick Azeez Christian, Nwigbarato Dumbari, Leader S. Sampson, Amb. Desmond Akawor, Chukwunenye N. Kocha, Richard Harry Benibo, Patrick Dike John Woke, Omangima Harry and Nwanze Ogbogu Michael, chairmen of the political parties in the state’s IPAC.
The statement partly said, “Supporting the candidacy of Sir. Siminialayi Fubara for governor of our dear state resonates with the values of equity, fairness, justice and balance.”
However, the AAC in reaction distanced itself from the endorsement. “@aacparty completely distances itself from this shenanigans and was never part of the endorsement of @GovWike’s candidate Sim Fubara,” it said in a tweet.
When contacted, the AAC chairman in Rivers, Dr Chukwunenye 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 yesterday and I was not there,” he told our correspondent in a phone conversation on Thursday.
When asked whether the party was part of the endorsement, Okocha 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.”
A statement by Okocha earlier obtained by , had stated, “May I hereby categorically state to our teaming supporters and voters to remain focused in their support for our party, the African Action Congress since we, like some other parties, were not represented in the said IPAC press conference.
“Parties that gave consent to the press conference were duly represented and also signed the press release. The recorded clip of the press conference has since surfaced in the media space to confirm this clarification.”