Monday, October 13, 2014 6:17 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
President Goodluck Jonathan has presented a cheque of N250 million to the traders of Rumuoji Mile One Market who were victims of a fire disaster in December last year. He also promised to rebuild the market if voted into power in 2015.
Adamu Muazu, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party presented the cheque to the traders, on the sidelines of an effort to reconcile the warring members of the party in the state.
The internal crisis that led to a free for all fight among members at the reconciliatory meeting at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja,last week.
Earlier,there were sporadic gun shots by persons suspected to be members of rival cult groups around the Udi street of Mile Diobu before calm was restored by the Police drawn from the Mile One Police station, opposite the Mile One Market.
Ahmad Mohammad, the police Command spokesman confirmed the shooting incident and ascribed it to cultists who wanted to block Udi street.
Muazu was welcome into Port Harcourt amidst fanfare by party faithful. His effort was interpreted to be a a last ditch effort to save the party from self-destruction.
The party is sorely divided over the ambition of Nyesom Wike,the Minister of State for Education who wants to succeed Governor Chibuike Amaechi, his former boss from same Ikwerre ethnic nationality.
However, aspirants such as Lolo Ibileye,Elemchukwu Ogbowu,Sara Igbe and others opposed to Wike and the Felix Obuah led Executive were conspicuously absent claiming that the visit was shrouded in secrecy.
Some of the problems Muazu may have to resolve will be how to assuage aspirants and ethnic interests, who believe Wike has a vice-grip on the party’s state executive, installed after an Abuja High Court judgement that sacked Godspower Ake led executive alleged to be loyal to Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
Ethnics groups which have not produced a governor in the state, felt it is their turn to do so, but they may not be able to achieve this, because of Wike’s dominance of the party structure.
They want the party to follow the principle of zoning and rotation in the sharing of party offices between the upland and riverine areas.
From 1999 to 2007, the state was governed by Dr. Peter Odili from Ndoni, an upland area.His predecessor Ada George, an Okrika who governed for a brief period before Military takeover is from the Riverine. Celestine Omehia, was Ikwerre from upland. he governed for six months and was sacked by a Supreme Court judgement that installed his cousin, Rotimi Amaechi.Amaechi’s tenure ends in May 2015.
A member of the Obuah executive argued that there is no provision in the party’s constitution for zoning or rotation. He said the party will throw its door open for all aspirants to test their popularity at party primaries.
Other ethnic groups other than Wike’s Ikwerre have threatened that they will only vote for the political party that fields their candidate.
The Ikwerre people have the largest voting strength, as they dominate Obio-Akpor, Port Harcourt City, Ikwerre and Emohua local government areas.
Supporters of Wike argue that he is the only candidate that has the funds and grassroots support that could match any candidate that All Progressive Congress, APC,which has agreed not to field an Ikwerre would present at the polls.
The belief is that as long as Wike’s ambition subsists, other candidates under PDP in Rivers have no slimmest chance of success. Supporters of Wike argued that he fought against Amaechi and drove him away to APC.
Ankio Briggs, Ijaw rights activist has however described as disgraceful the free for all fight by PDP stalwarts at their reconciliation meeting in Abuja last week,warning that if the scenario is not checked PDP may lose the state through protest votes.