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Rivers PDP Crisis Deepens As Court Reinstates Sacked Chairman

By The Citizen

A RIVERS State High Court has restrained the National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from interfering with sacked Rivers State Executive Council (SEC) of the party led by Godspower Ake.

And as the newly inaugurated State Executive of the PDP led by Felix Obuah took over the party secretariat, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, said the Police would enforce the verdict of the Abuja Federal High Court which sacked the Ake-led SEC.

Justice Crescent Dappa-Adbo of the Okehi High Court yesterday issued an injunction restraining the National Executive Council of the PDP from interring with the tenure of Ake-led state executive.

In same vein, the court also issued an order barring Obuah, who was welcomed back to Port Harcourt by thousands of party stalwarts and other members of his executive, from parading themselves as members of the state executive till the expiration of Ake's tenure.

The Commissioner of Police, however, told journalists in Port Harcourt Friday that he would enforce the Abuja court judgment and would not hesitate to deal with any group of persons from any side of the divide that tries to cause crisis and destabilise the state.

'We are supposed to obey the court judgment. We are here to enforce the law. At the moment, there is no instruction from the President, Inspector-General of Police, the governor or anybody, we can only recognise and enforce the court judgment. For now, judgment has been given and we stand by that judgment until there is a contrary order. Anybody that attempts to cause tension in the state, we will deal with such a person,' the commissioner said.

Meanwhile activities at the Port Harcourt International Airport were paralysed for several hours as supporters of the factional chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah, stormed the airport to welcome him and his team back to the state.

Obuah who was accompanied by the former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Austin Opara; and Sergeant Awuse, amongst others, said his mission was to unify warring factions of the party in order to move it forward.

'I warn that we must be very careful and respect constituted authority. The leaders of our great party PDP are President Goodluck Jonathan and Bamaga Turku. We must be very guided in our utterances and be very respectful knowing that we voted them to power,' he said.

Obuah, who thanked God for his victory, said members of the party must realise that the PDP is not a pressure group.

Meanwhile, the local government chairmen in the state under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) have vowed not work with Obuah, insisting that Ake remains the authentic chairman of the party in the state.

The chairmen, led by Chimbiko Akarolo, made the assertion during a solidarity visit to Ake in Port Harcourt yesterday.

He explained that after a thorough deliberation and critical analysis of the political development in the state, they came to the conclusion that there is a calculated plan by a faction of the party to cause a break down of law and order in the state.

But Ake appealed to them to be calm, saying he would explore all necessary legal avenues to redress the injustice meted to him and his executive council.