Obuah faction of Rivers PDP apologises to Jonathan over Amaechi, berates Governor
The Felix Obuah led faction of the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met with President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday at the presidential villa, to apologize to him and his wife, Patience Jonathan, over what they termed, 'many sins' of their state governor, Rotimi Amaechi against the president and his government.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting which had big wigs like former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, former deputy speaker, Chibudum Nwuche and Austin Okpara, all anti Amaechi’s lawmakers in the National Assembly, both serving and former ministers, the state Chairman of the Party, Felix Obuah expressed regret that ” the main champion of opposition in the country against Mr. President and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria is our own son, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi”.
He said Amaechi’s position against the president and the government was not in tandem with wishes of the generality of the people of the state.
“We are pained and our heart bleeds today that the main champion of opposition in the country against Mr. President and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria is our own son, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. This is indeed shameful. We do not know what has come over the young man. Is it that he wants to destabilize the PDP before his eventual movement to his new party, having been handed over the ACN/APC structure in Rivers State? Unfortunately, he has repeatedly rebuffed every effort by us and well meaning Nigerians to make him show remorse and respect for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mr. President Sir, we sincerely apologize to you and the First Lady on this sad situation. We appeal that as the saying goes, “you do not visit the sin of the father on the son” and implore your Excellency, to remember us in prayers.
“To demonstrate that Rivers people are not with Governor Amaechi in this hostile attitude against Mr. President and our great party, we shall continue to support his suspension from the PDP by the National Working Committee until he retraces his steps from engaging in anti-party activities”.
He said for governor Amaechi to be readmitted to the PDP fold would be dependent on if he ”shows remorse and goes to the party and apologises. But if he still remains recalcitrant and refuses to change, we are not begging for everybody to be in PDP. That is the essence of multiple party democracy. If he wants to remain, fine but if he wants to leave, nobody will stop him”.
On the crisis in the state chapter, Obuah said, “We want to assure the President that there is no crisis in the party. We are committed members of the PDP and we remain committed. We also assured him that whoever that is not disciplined and who is not in support of our programme should be left out. At every point in time, we let people realize that the party is supreme and the President is the leader of the party and we have come to show our commitment at loyalty to him”.
Also speaking the meeting, the former Governor of Rivers state, Sir Peter Odili said the problems rocking the PDP in the state would soon be resolved.
He said “There is no human problem without a human solution, what is important is for us is to recognize that at any point in time respect for authority, respect for the rule of law, discipline is the guiding principles that will make us run whatever system or societies we are running in an orderly, disciplined fashion in a way that will be inclusive for all stakeholders to contribute maximally to the well being and purpose of the organisation.
“My assurance to you on behalf of the new leadership of the party in the state is that you will see an end to this exchanges that put Rivers State PDP in bad light. The end will be for the family to resolve the matter in a way that will reflect the discipline and the proper organisation of the party” he said.
Minister of state for Education, Nyesom Wike said he had no personal disagreement with governor Amaechi, pointing out that what is going on is that Amaechi has failed to understand that the structure of the Party is no longer under his control.
“Because the governor no longer has the party structure makes him uncomfortable. So, all that you are seeing is a reaction to that and we believe that you cannot build a party around a personality. The party is meant for the people and the people make the choice and the choice they made, they were denied and people went to court to get their mandate. It is like a tribunal, if you lose a election, you go to tribunal and the tribunal will tell you if you won or lost. Then you can go on appeal, that is the way it is. So, there is nothing personal, rather it is a political activity that is going on” he said.
On reports that he was shunned by the President last week, Wike said, “First of all, there is nothing like face saving. If Mr President came on Friday and I received him and when he came back on Saturday, I was the one who mobilized the people and Mr. President was quite happy. You can see me with Mr. President in the pictures. What you saw was a syndicated job, that is why I am saying and I will continue to say that journalists are supposed to report the truth. Some people stay in government house and write a story and send to you and you publish. You could see that they cut my picture just to prove that I was not there or that Mr President was not happy with me.
“How would I have mobilized the entire people to see Mr President and he will now say Mr President should not see me. In fact, it is a humiliation to the governor, it is as a result of that humiliation that he went to the church the following day to now say I am a betrayer. It was that anger”.
On why Amaechi was not in the meeting, he said, “The governor is suspended, so he can’t come. It is only when he comes back to the party, then he will join us. You can see the men of timber and calibre, the leaders of the party. Tomorrow, you will see on the frontage that a faction of the state PDP…, there is nothing like faction in the PDP. This is the chairman of the party, he led the members of his exco, all the party chairmen and other stakeholders are here”.
On whether there are moves to bring back aggrieved members, Wike said, “We cannot shut our doors to anybody. That is why it is politics. If you are willing to come back, you will do so. The chairman of the party has said so but there are rules which we must comply with and if you cannot comply with the rules, you can’t come back. There must be party discipline. If you don’t want to belong to party A, you may go to party B. As I have said before, this issue of threatening does not hold water. It even favors us because people will now see who actually controls the votes in Rivers State. We are on ground and we have the grassroots. Money does not solve all problems.
Others at the meeting were Uche Secondus, Austin Opkara, Lee Maeba, Fred Kpakol, Nyesom Wike, Ama Pepple, Minister of Housing an’s air and Development, Party Secretary – Walter Opuene, Abiye Sekibo, Sergeant Awuse, Kenneth Kobani, Timothy Nsirim, Doris Fisher, Toru Ofili, Boma Iyaye, Evans Bipi, Hope Ikiriko, Vincent Nemieboka and Elemechukwu Ogbowu