The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be in disarray following the ongoing rift between Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
reports that the contention is over the list of the party’s chairmanship candidates for the forthcoming local government elections in the state.
The screening committee of the PDP led by the former senator representing Imo East district in the National Assembly, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, had last week screened councillorship and chairmanship aspirants from the 23 local government areas of the state.
At the end of the exercise last Friday, February 12, 2021, all the councillorship and chairmanship aspirants allegedly loyal to Secondus were disqualified by the committee.
The development led to protests last Thursday by disqualified councillorship aspirants, leading to an explosion suspected to be dynamite at the PDP secretariat in Port Harcourt, venue of the screening exercise.
It was further gathered that at the end of the screening exercise for
chairmanship aspirants, only eight incumbent chairmen, believed to be loyal to
Wike, were given a clean bill of health to contest for a second term in office.
However, 15 other incumbent local government chairmen, loyal to
Secondus, including the political son of the PDP national chairman and
chairman of Andoni, his home local government area, Hon. Lawrence
Paul, was disqualified by the committee.
The rift between the governor and the PDP chairman became obvious last
Sunday when Secondus boycotted the party’s primaries at Ngo,
headquarters of Andoni local government area, where party delegates
endorsed Wike’s former special adviser on the Niger Delta Development
Commission (NDDC), Erastus Awortu, as the party’s chairmanship
The exercise was however graced by prominent PDP leaders from the
area, including the speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,
Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani and former Rivers State deputy governor,
Engr. Tele Ikuru.
Speaking during the primaries, Ibani noted that power belongs to God
as he described the choice of Awortu as the handwork of Go
Efforts made by our correspondent to get reaction of Wike and Secondus
proved abortive as text and Whatsapp messages sent to the governor’s
media aide, Kelvin Ebiri and the PDP national chairman, respectively,
were not responded to.