March 9, 2016

Imo PDP peace meeting ends in deadlock

Ihedioha , Pressure

Imo governor-elect Emeka Ihedioha

By Ben Agande

Abuja—A meeting convened by the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to find solution to the crisis bedevilling the leadership of the party in Imo state ended in a deadlock yesterday as the two protagonists, Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Hope Uzodinma failed to reach a compromise.

The two protagonists stormed the PDP secretariat with a large number of their supporters to attend a meeting convened by the chairman of the party.

Although tempers flared between the two supporters, the Chairman of the party was able to calm them down before representatives of the two groups were summoned to a meeting with members of the National Working Committee of the party in the chairman’s office.

After over two hours of deliberation, the two parties stormed out without any solution as the party shifted the meeting to Wednesday (today) to  try to find a solution.

Senator   Sheriff while assuring members of the two factions that the NWC would be impartial in the crisis, warned them that the party risked losing at the forthcoming re-run elections if its members went into it with a divided house.

Sheriff said: “You don’t go to elections with a divided house. We insisted that all the leaders must be here. I don’t want people to start grumbling over who will have what. I want to be on the side of truth” he told supporters of the two groups before representatives of the two factions went into a closed door meeting with members of the NWC.

He noted that stakeholders from the two factions must make inputs in forming the congress committees which will conduct the forthcoming congress of the party in the state but maintained that the state caretaker committee as presently constituted remains.

The caretaker committee is believed to be dominated by loyalists of Hon Ihedioha.

The National Chairman who charged them not to be angry promised that the NWC would sort out the matter dispassionately and sincerely.

From the three Senatorial Districts in the state, the national chairman chose speakers, mainly former governors from the state: Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim, serving Senators and some House of Rep members, including the former deputy speaker, Ihedioha, to ventilate the feelings of their people.

Udenwa stated that there was no need for them to come to Abuja as there was a caretaker committee in place since the tenure of the former state exco has elapsed.

While urging the Imo PDP faithful “to listen to the caretaker committee,” he was shouted down by those loyal to Senator Uzodimma who were protesting  over their non-inclusion in the caretaker committee.

Earlier, the Governor of  Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson who was coopted into the meeting by the party’s chairman urged the PDP supporters to present a common front in order to reclaim the state from the All Progressive Congress which produced the governor in the last election.