June 20, 2024

We must restore peace to Rivers, says PDP National Vice Chairman

PDP fixes N5m for chairmanship form, deputy national chairman, national sec N3m

A National Vice -Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Kamoru Ajisafe, has called on party stakeholders to do everything possible to resolve  the leadership crisis rocking the Rivers chapter.

Ajisafe ,also South West Zonal Chairman of the party,made the call  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

He said the crisis was getting out of hand ,urging stakeholders to take urgent steps to bring about peace in line with the party’s constitution.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN)reports that the state  has been engulfed in political crisis  since the early period of Governor Fubara in office, a fallout of the battle between him and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, for control of the political structures in the state.

Wike, currently the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), still wields enormous political influence in the state, which  Fubara, backed by Wike  to win last year’s governorship election, appears poised to whittle down.

Local government chairmen elected when Wike was governor , are still loyal to him. They had  vowed to stay in office at the expiration of their tenure,  saying the state House of Assembly had extended their tenure by six months.

The crisis-ridden 31-member House of Assembly is divided, with an overwhelming majority of 27 of them who claimed to have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party in the state, to the All Progressives Congress (APC), backing  Wike.

A policeman was killed on Tuesday as  some youths attempted to dislodge the Chairman of Omuma Local Government,a Wike loyalist, at Eberi-Omuma.

Reacting to the development, Ajisafe said  political actors and stakeholders must act to end the crisis through strict adherence to the relevant provisions of the PDP’s  and Nigeria’s Constitution.

“My response to this Rivers political crisis is that the players and stakeholders in the party should follow the dictates of the Nigerian Constitution and of our party.

“If we can apply the grundnorms, it will resolve all these contentious issues. The actors and key players are already dancing in the arena.

“”There must be peace in Rivers, we have no option.

“This democracy, we should not forget that some people dissipated their energy and lives to bring it to us. We should not allow their sweats to go down the drain.

“We should not underestimate anything. We should not abort this democracy that we have had in the last 25 years,” Ajisafe said.

He alleged that  some people, who had traded away membership of the party,  were still inside troubling the peace within the party.

“One thing that I cannot trade away is my membership of the party and I will always stand by what will benefit the party.

“If there are options on the table, we should pick the one that will favour the party, PDP. Fubara is the governor on the platform of PDP and this is clear,” the said.

Ajisafe  said towards ensuring lasting peace,the party must identify the  genuine members of the party in Rivers and those are  not.

He described  the killing of a cop and vigilante in the clashes between pro-Wike loyalists and  youths loyal to Gov. Fubara on Tuesday at the expiration of the tenure of local government chairmen in the state as unfortunate.

“When there are agitations, no matter how small, our prayer is that we should not have casualties,” he said.

Ajisafe expressed optimism that Gov. Fubara, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, had moved to do the right thing for peace to reign.

He said that the police must also step up their game to douse agitations and prevent any further ‘collateral damage’.

On implication of the leadership crisis on the party, Ajisafe said that no one should take PDP for granted.

“In politics, you win some and you lose some. You cannot approbate and reprobate at the  same time. You can’t be here and there,” he said(NAN)