Tension in the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) South South zone is rising due to rumors that the zonal secretariat may be leaving Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to a communique released following a meeting of the party, the South South PDP stated that a zonal consultative meeting, which ordinarily would take place in the capital of Rivers State, is planned to take place in one of the neighboring states.
According to GospelCable, the idea to convene the scheduled zonal consultative conference outside of Port Harcourt is seen by supporters of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as an effort to lessen the governor’s influence over party activities in the zone.
After the nomination of the governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as a vice presidential candidate, Wike and his supporters have been at odds with both the national leadership and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate.
The Rivers governor’s camp, which is made up of Governors Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Seyi Makinde of the states of Benue, Enugu, Abia, and Oyo, respectively, has persisted in demanding that the National chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, be replaced as a prerequisite for reconciliation.
The PDP last week presented its presidential campaign council without giving Wike any significant roles, stoking rumors that the party may have decided to ignore the governor in the lead-up to the general elections of 2023.
However, Akonjom cautioned that violating the PDP constitution would be any zonal gathering held away from the zonal headquarters.
The message said, in part:
The Zonal Working Committee is in favor of a National Zonal Consultative Tour because it recognizes the need for unity and cohesiveness, particularly in the run-up to the 2023 General Elections, and is concerned about the Party’s ongoing issues since the Presidential Primaries.
The South South Zone consultation visit, which is tragically unwarranted and scheduled to take place outside the Zonal Head Quarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, is something that the Zonal Working Committee has severe concerns about. This, we decide, is unacceptable to the Party leadership in the Zone since it could further polarize those leaders.
The Zonal Working Committee also decides that the Consultative Tour of the Party should take place at the Zonal Headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in order to achieve this. It should be underlined that convening any such conference away from the zonal headquarters will only exacerbate problems and prevent the party from moving toward the desired state of amity, peace, and togetherness.
“In addition to the foregoing, the Zonal Working Committee observes that all Party organs are expected to operate democratically under Section 31 (2) (d) of the Party’s Constitution of 2017 (as modified).
In light of this, it should be noted that hosting the South South Zonal Consultative Tour outside of the Zonal Headquarters would violate Section 31 (2) (d) of the Party’s Constitution. The Zonal Working Committee would not participate in any violation of the Party’s rules, let alone its Constitution.
The Zonal Working Committee decides to oppose any action that could broaden or aggravate the crises of confidence among Party leaders in the Zone going forward.
When reached, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP’s national publicity secretary, denied knowing of the alleged scheme to move the South South zone secretariat.
In a phone conversation with GospelCable, Ologunagba stated, “I am not aware of any such moves.