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Harvest of crises at PDP congresses


Former Governor of Rivers State, Celestine Omehia (right), administering oath of office to the newly elected Southwest PDP executives at Akure, Ondo State.

Former Governor of Rivers State, Celestine Omehia (right), administering oath of office to the newly elected Southwest PDP executives at Akure, Ondo State.

State Governors Show Might

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Zonal Congresses yesterday ended as a show of supremacy by state governors, giving an insight into what would obtain next Saturday when the party holds its national convention.

While the exercise produced discordant testimonies in Southwest, it was nearly marred by fracas in Southeast, where supporters of a rival candidate clashed with political thugs loyal to the preferred candidate of Ebonyi State governor.

However, the situation in Northeast and South/South were peaceful without incidents, even as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, assured delegates that the zone would continue as the stronghold of the PDP in its efforts to reclaim power at the centre in 2019.

Wike explained that his colleagues in the South/South States have resolved to support the party in Edo ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in a bid to win it over.

Speaking on behalf of members of the National Assembly from the zone, the Senate majority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, appealed to all members of PDP in the zone to use the zonal congress and the forthcoming national convention to correct the ills of the past.

Emanuel Ogiidi, who emerged the Zonal National Vice chairman, said he will use victory to reunite the party and strengthen it ahead of 2019 general elections.

In Northeast, where consensus candidates emerged, the outgoing zonal chairman, Senator Girgiri Lawan, said the decision to “ share all the elective positions among the North-East states” was based on agreement arrived at after series of meetings and consultations that lasted for several hours Friday night.

The action, he added, would not only unite the party at both federal and zonal levels, but also enhance the chance of the party in the zone at the next political dispensation.

Overwhelmed by the outcome of the congress, the national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, said his decision to vie for the position was necessitated by the clarion calls from the Northeast and all over the country at large.

He harped on the need to unite the party, vowing to work tirelessly and admonished supporters of the party to eschew acts capable of truncating the dream of the party.

In the Southwest, where two disparate positions on the exercise emerged, Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose, urged the members to close ranks, pointing out that PDP was headed in a new direction.

Mimiko said: “The PDP has a bright future in this country, but our actions and inactions will determine the future of our party in Nigeria.

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