Jonathan, PDP chiefs attack Amaechi at Villa meeting

WITH its brawling leaders talking tough, the
ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to
be far away from the peace it desperately
The President warned yesterday that the “new
PDP” would not condone indiscipline, after
accusing some of its leading lights of
fraternising with the opposition.
He said: “In a situation where somebody is in a
particular political party but his faith is in
another political party… For those who are not
holding political offices, yes you can excuse…
But if you are holding an elective office, you
won’t be in that party and be working for
another party. Otherwise, why are you there?”
It was all at a meeting with some PDP leaders
from Rivers State at the Presidential Villa,
Although, he did not mention his name, it was
clear Dr. Jonathan was referring to Governor
Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, whom he greeted
warmly last Saturday at the Port Harcourt
Airport – a scene many read as the end of their
perceived misunderstanding.
Amaechi is suspended from the party. He got
yesterday a condition to return – he should
The factional chairman of the Rivers State PDP,
Prince Felix Obuah, announced the condition
while speaking with State House
correspondents at the end of the meeting of
elders and leaders of the state with the
But Rivers State Commissioner for Information
Ibim Semenitari told Obuah to refrain from
making unguarded statements.
And a Rivers State Senator, Magnus Abe,
dismissed the meeting as a one-sided affair.
Only one member of the National Assembly
from the state attended.
Responding to a question on Amaechi’s threat
to leave PDP, Obuah said: “Everybody is
entitled to his own opinion. He has been
suspended because of anti-party activities. So,
I don’t want to refer to Amaechi’s matter
because it is with the NWC of the party. So he
has all to say with the party and not me. If he
wants to remain in the party, he has to show
respect. If he wants to leave, I cannot stop
“That is why we are here. In any case, he has
gone to court. If he shows remorse and goes
to the party and apologises, we will call him
back, but if he still remains recalcitrant and
refuses to change, we are not begging for
everybody to be in PDP. That is the essence of
multiple party democracy. If he wants to
remain, fine. But if he wants to leave, nobody
will stop him. Well, as he leaves, two will come
to PDP. That’s a plus for PDP.”
Stressing that there is no crisis in Rivers PDP,
Obuah said: “We want to assure the President
that there is no crisis in the party. We are
committed members of the PDP and we remain
committed. We also assured him that whoever
that is not disciplined and who is not in
support of our programme should be left out.
At every point in time, we let people realise
that the party is supreme and the President is
the leader of the party and we have come to
show our commitment and loyalty to him.”
“We have come to solidarise with the President
and we want to pledge our support to his
government. We support his transformation
agenda. We also thank First Lady for her
recent visit to the state and the empowerment
programme for women in all the local
government areas in our state. Ordinary, this is
the first time the leadership of the PDP is
paying a courtesy visit to the President. We
used the opportunity to appreciate him and
wish him well.”
According to a copy of the speech read by
Obuah at the meeting, he said: “We are pained
and our heart bleeds today that the main
champion of opposition in the country against
Mr. President and indeed the Federal
Government of Nigeria is our own son,
Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. This is
indeed shameful.”
“We do not know what has come over the
young man. Is it that he wants to destabilise
the PDP before his eventual movement to his
new party, having been handed over the ACN/
APC structure in Rivers State? Unfortunately,
he has repeatedly rebuffed every effort by us
and well-meaning Nigerians to make him show
remorse and respect for the office of the
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“Mr. President Sir, we sincerely apologise to
you and the First Lady on this sad situation.
We appeal that as the saying goes, ‘you do not
visit the sin of the father on the son’ and
implore your Excellency, to remember us in
He went on: “To demonstrate that Rivers
people are not with Governor Amaechi in this
hostile attitude against Mr. President and our
great party, we shall continue to support his
suspension from the PDP by the National
Working Committee, until he retraces his steps
from engaging in anti-party activities.”
“Your Excellency, Governor Amaechi is not
only showing disrespect to your office, he is
also attacking the Nigeria Police, his grouse
that the Commissioner of Police in the State,
Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu is not doing his bidding
as perhaps, some before him did by being used
to terrorise innocent Rivers men and women,
including his perceived political opponents.
Your Excellency, Mr. Mbu is a God-sent
Commissioner of Police who has refused to be
used to arrest and harass political opponents
of Governor Amaechi and charging them to
court on trumped-up charges. We are very
proud of his impartiality and we join well-
meaning Nigerians in Rivers State to celebrate
him as a core professional.”
“It is for this reason that our governor has
been doing everything, including instigating
commission of crimes to ridicule and blackmail
the Commissioner of Police. Governor Amaechi
desperately wants Mr. Mbu out of Rivers State
and has publicly threatened to lead a street
protest in Port Harcourt with hired persons
and non Nigerians. The idea of the protest, we
understand, is to further press for the removal
of the patriotic and selfless Commissioner of
Police in Rivers State.”
Obuah also thanked President Jonathan for
giving many Rivers State indigenes the
opportunity to hold federal appointments.
“Finally, as a party, Mr. President, we in Rivers
State assure you that we will continue to
support you, the Transformation Agenda and
all your policies. As our son-in-law, we
guarantee that you can go home and sleep with
your two eyes closed, believing that at all
times, we will massively support and stand with
you, come rain come shine.”
Also speaking with State House
correspondents, the Minister of State for
Education, Nyesom Wike said: “The governor is
suspended, so he can’t come. It is only when
he comes back to the party, then he will join
us. You can see the men of timber and calibre,
the leaders of the party. So, it is not a
question of what The Nation or The Sun will
publish. I am happy that The Nation and Sun
reporters are here and I hope they will publish
“Tomorrow, you will see on the front page that
a faction of the state PDP…; there is nothing
like faction in the PDP. This is the chairman of
the party; he led the members of his exco; all
the party chairmen and other stakeholders are
On the moves to bring back aggrieved
members, Wike said: “We cannot shut our
doors to anybody. That is why it is politics. If
you are willing to come back, you will do so.
The chairman of the party has said so but
there are rules which we must comply with
and if you cannot comply with the rules, you
can’t come back. There must be party
discipline. If you don’t want to belong to party
A, you may go to party B.
“As I have said before, this issue of threatening
does not hold water. It even favours us
because people will now see who actually
controls the votes in Rivers State. We are on
ground and we have the grassroots. Money
does not solve all problems.”
He, however, maintained that there is no
misunderstanding between him and Amaechi,
“There is no misunderstanding. What you
should understand is that in every political
process, you expect some disagreements. Some
people see it as if there is a personal
misunderstanding. There is none.”
“One thing you must understand is that
Nigerians do not easily accept change and
when change comes, it takes some people
some time to accept, but it is change that has
come to stay. That the governor does not have
the party structure does not make him
comfortable. So, all that you are seeing is a
reaction to that and we believe that you cannot
build a party around a personality.”
“The party is meant for the people and the
people make the choice and the choice they
made, they were denied and people went to
court to get their mandate. It is like a tribunal;
if you lose election, you go to tribunal and the
tribunal will tell you if you won or lost. Then
you can go on appeal; that is the way it is. So,
there is nothing personal; rather it is a
political activity that is going on.”
Denying the reports that he was shunned by
the President last week, Wike said: “First of all,
there is nothing like face-saving. If Mr
President came on Friday and I received him
and when he came back on Saturday, I was the
one who mobilised the people and Mr
President was quite happy. You can see me
with Mr President in the pictures.”
“What you saw was a syndicated job. That is
why I am saying and I will continue to say that
journalists are supposed to report the truth.
Some people stay in government house and
write a story and send to you and you publish.
You could see that they cut my picture just to
prove that I was not there or that Mr President
was not happy with me.”
“How would I have mobilised the entire people
to see Mr President and he will now say Mr
President should not see me. In fact, it is a
humiliation to the governor; it is as a result of
that humiliation that he went to the church the
following day to now say I am a betrayer. It
was that anger.”
The former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter
Odilli, harped on respect for authority and
discipline in the party.
He said: “There is no human problem without
a human solution. What is important is for us
to recognize that at any point in time respect
for authority, respect for the rule of law,
discipline is the guiding principle that will
make us run whatever system or societies we
are running in an orderly, disciplined fashion,
in a way that will be inclusive for all
stakeholders to contribute maximally to the
well being and purpose of the organisation.”
Optimistic that the crisis in the state will soon
be a thing of the past, Odili said: “My
assurance to you on behalf of the new
leadership of the party of the state is that you
will see an end to this exchanges that put
Rivers State PDP in bad light. The end will be
for the family to resolve the matter in a way
that will reflect the discipline and the proper
organisation of the party.”
On the meeting with Jonathan, he said: “The
leadership of the Rivers State PDP came with
its executive to meet the leader of the party in
the nation. And it was a very cordial meeting
and a reunion, if you like, because for quite
sometime the party in the state has not
interfaced with the leadership at the centre. It
was a very warm and cheerful meeting.”
Among those who attended the meeting
yesterday were the Acting National Deputy
Chairman of PDP and former Deputy Speaker of
the House of Representatives, Chibudum
Nwuche, Uche Secondus, Austin Opkara,
Senator Lee Maeba, Fred Kpakol, Ama Pepple,
and Walter Opuene.
Others are former Transport Minister, Abiye
Sekibo, Senator George Sekibo, Sergeant
Awuse, Kenneth Kobani, Timothy Nsirim, Doris
Fisher, Toru Ofili, Boma Iyaye, Evans Bipi,
Hope Ikiriko, Vincent Nemieboka and
Elemchukwu Ogbowu.
Source:the nation

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