Rivers PDP moves to suspend deputy governor, senator, other Amaechi's associates
The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, and other elected and appointed public office holders loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi are facing imminent suspension by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Their offence is their refusal to appear before the Perfomance Assessment Committee set up by the Obuah faction of the party in the state to evaluate their performance since their election/appointment.
The governor and the 27 members of the state House of Assembly on his side in the protracted crisis in the party are already suspended and excluded from the performance evaluation.
The Osinakachukwu Ideozu-led committee however invited Ikuru,an engineer,the three senators,13 members of the House of Representatives from the state and council chairmen many of whom are loyal to the governor.
They have so far refused to honour the invitation.
Also invited was the Minister of State for Education,Chief Nyesom Wike who is the arrowhead of the opposition to the governor.
It was gathered yesterday that the plan to suspend the 'errant' party men is to ensure their non-participation in next week's mini national convention of the PDP in Abuja.
When contacted yesterday,Chief Felix Obuah,the factional PDP Chairman said he was at a meeting.
However,sources close to his faction said: 'The associates of Amaechi, who refuse to honour the invitation of the members of the committee led by Ideozu, formally inaugurated by Bro. Felix Obuah, will definitely be suspended.
'When they are all suspended like Amaechi from the PDP, they will appreciate the supremacy of the party. Nobody will force or beg them to appear.
'They (Amaechi's loyalists) will know the importance of belonging to the PDP on August 31, during the special national convention of the party in Abuja, when they will not be part of Rivers state delegates of the PDP.'
Ideozu, at the committee's inaugural sitting on Thursday, said it was not set up to witch-hunt anybody, but to examine how the officers elected to oversee the welfare of the people discharged the responsibilities in line with public expectations and to be better informed in preparing for future elections.
The Press Secretary to the Rivers deputy governor, Godswill Jumbo, in a telephone interview yesterday, said: 'My boss is in Abuja. He is attending some meetings in Aso Rock. The Ideozu committee did not invite him in writing. I am not aware of any communication to that effect.
'I have contacted him (Ikuru) through text, to let him know about the development, but he is yet to reply (at 4 pm). As soon as he replies, I will let you know, but note that before appearing before the committee, he must seek clearance from Governor Amaechi.'
Senator Magnus Ngei Abe could not be reached.
His Special Adviser on Media, Honour Sirawoo, said at 4:07 pm yesterday: 'Was he (Abe) invited by the committee? Nobody has seen any letter inviting Senator Magnus Abe to appear before the committee. He is not aware of the performance assessment by the Chief Felix Obuah-led PDP.
'Senator Abe is a very loyal member of the PDP. You are aware that the National Assembly members are on recess and the distinguished Senator is out of the country. I have not been able to reach him.'
Representative Dakuku Peterside (Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro ) an ally of Amaechi, could also not be reached at press time.
Amaechi's bid to stop the committee members from assessing his loyalists suffered a setback on August 20 when Justice Godspower Aguma of the State High Court dismissed a suit filed by him against the panel.
A former National Organizing Secretary of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, ex-Rivers Chairman of the party and a loyalist of Wike, appeared before the committee on Thursday and described the performance assessment as an excellent idea, for the officers to be up and doing.
The ex-Rivers PDP chairman (Secondus) stated that he decided to submit himself to the committee to render the account of his stewardship, as a loyal party member and because the order was from the party.
He said: 'Anybody current with what is going on all over the world will know that politics is dynamic and we cannot be left out of the changing situation. The idea is very much in order.' The Nation