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: Controversy trails convention as NWC, BoT disagree on venue

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Aspirants opposed to P-H venue are against Rivers, N-Delta —Wike

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA— Fresh crisis is threatening Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s preparation for the 2019 general elections, following yesterday’s heated argument between National Working Committee, NWC, and Board of Trustees, BoT.

The argument broke out at the inauguration of the party’s National Convention Planning Committee at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.

Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party, Elder Yemi Akinwomi, who stood in for the party’s national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, while clarifying the choice of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as convention venue, said: “The party set up a committee headed by Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, and they went round the South-South and South-East zones before coming out with the choice of Port Harcourt for us.

“As in acceptance, the NWC has consulted widely with the PDP Governors Forum, we have consulted widely with the BoT. We have consulted widely with caucus of the party and today it has been jointly accepted that we will converge on Port Harcourt in no distant time for the national convention.


“The international community has told us that they want to watch keenly the Port Harcourt convention. Particularly, they said they want to come and watch the process that will lead to the emergence of our flag bearer, because by the grace of God, our flag bearer will be the next President of Nigeria.”

He had barely finished his last sentence when BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, countered with a response, saying Port Harcourt has not been agreed upon by all the parties.

He said: “The issue of venue is still on and is not concluded because there are many suggestions on the issue of venue. We will look at all the suggestions and I want to assure you that the issue of venue will be resolved.

“But for now, we are working round the clock to ensure that we have a very suitable venue accepted by everybody. I want to say that everyone of us should come together and ensure that we have a venue suitable to all of us.”

Aspirants opposed to P-H venue are against Rivers, N-Delta —Wike

Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, slammed PDP presidential aspirants allegedly opposed to the holding of October 5 and 6 national convention of the party in Port Harcourt, saying they were by their action showing they were against the economic interest of the state and Niger Delta.

He said such aspirants were also not living up to their campaign for the restructuring of the country.

He said:  “Those who are against the PDP convention holding in Port Harcourt do not have the economic interest of Rivers and Niger Delta at heart.

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“If you are telling the people of the state and by extension Niger Delta that you don’t want such event to hold in their domain as an aspirant, how will you act when you become a president?

‘’How do you expect the people you are telling that you don’t like their state to vote for you during the election?”

The governor said it was worrisome that the same people who have been traversing the length and breadth of the country calling for the restructuring of Nigeria were the aspirants kicking against the choice of Port Harcourt as venue for the convention.

“Why are they not acting in tandem with their campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria? From their opposition to Port Harcourt, it means the restructuring campaign is a mere lip service.

“Every aspirant will be given a level playing field. That it is holding in Port Harcourt does not mean anybody will have undue advantage.

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‘’What it will do for the state is that it will boost its local economy because groundnut, sachet water sellers and food vendors will have more sales . Hoteliers will also record increased business.

‘’That is the only thing Rivers State stands to gain from the holding of the convention in Port Harcourt. And anybody who is against Port Harcourt hosting the event does not like the state. He is against the economic interest of the state,’’ the governor said.


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