Tension Heightens Over Control Of Rivers PDP

…PDP demands release of two Fubara loyalists

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There is palpable tension among the supporters of Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr. Nyesom Wike over the control of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State.

With the rejection of the PDP caretaker lists by Fubara, and the alleged attempts by Wike to maintain his influence in the state via the initial caretaker list, the supporters of both men are on alert over what would play out in Abuja.

Also, the arrest and alleged intimidation of some party faithfuls who travelled from Rivers to Abuja, especially the arrest of two Fubara supporters; Hon. Goodboy Sokari, a member representing Ahoada East Constituency in Rivers House of Assembly, and Mr Ezebunwo Ichemati by the Police in Abuja.

Rivers PDP members allege that they were arrested on the orders of Hon. Samuel Nwanosike, the chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, who is loyal to Wike.

Fubara’s camp claims that the Wike’s camp has resorted to violence and intimidation because of his PDP’s dwindling support base due to his feud with renowned party leaders, including former Governor Peter Odili, Sir Celestine Omehia, Dr Abiye Sekibo among others.

They also claim that the defection of members of Wike’s core support groups, including the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), and council chairmen has placed the remnants of his supporters in an offensive mode.

But Wike’s camp labels Fubara as an ungrateful politician who does not know what it means to be loyal to a “political godfather who brought him from nowhere and made him governor.”

Meanwhile, the Rivers chapter of PDP in a statement issued by Sydney Tambari Gbara, its spokesperson has called on the Inspector General of Police to order the release of the two detained PDP members.

The Police arrested Goodboy Sokari and Mr Ezebunwo Ichemati both Fubara loyalists in Abuja under the supervision of the Ikwerre local government Council Chairman, Samuel Nwanosike at the Wadata Plaza, PDP National Secretariat on Thursday.

Gbara linked the arrest to moves by some persons to set the state on fire despite efforts by the Governor to maintain peace in the State.

“The arrest at the Wadata House where party men of timber and calibre from the PDP were meeting to forge unity in the rank and file of the party is another sad and embarrassing experience of unending acts of harassment suffered by PDP members loyal to Governor Fubara.

“It was unimaginable that associates and supporters of Governors and leaders from other states were cheering their leaders as they arrived at the Wadata House unhindered, those from Rivers who came to identify with Governor Fubara were being harassed, intimidated, arrested and detained by the Police without provocation.

“We have time without number advised the police to remain neutral and not allow themselves to be used by political jobbers to settle political scores, especially those concerning Rivers State”.

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