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We'll vote against PDP, 16 Rivers gov aspirants threaten

Published by Tribune on Fri, 05 Dec 2014

FOLLOWING the lingering crisis within the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Rivers 16 guber aspirants, have threatened to vote against the party in 2015 if zoning of the Rivers governorship seat is not respected.They stated that the PDP stands to lose two million votes from Rivers state in the presidential election, if other major ethnic groups from the Riverine or Ogonis are excluded from ruling the state.Speaking on the platform of Rivers Mainstream Coalition, in Abuja, on Thursday, Professor Israel Owate, who spoke for the 19 Rivers State governorship aspirants, in a briefing said the immediate past Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, could not be imposed on people of Rivers state.According to him, at the end of Amaechi's eight years tenure, another ethnic group is to be allowed to govern the state as recognised by the party's constitution.Owate stated that installing Wike, an Ikwerre man, to succeed the incumbent Governor Rotimi Amaechi, is against the decade old power sharing formula.He, however, disclosed that from the way qualified governorship aspirants were screened out, that indicated conspiracy by those he described as'powerful, stinkingly rich political collaborators', to grant Wike the exclusive right to the party's 2015 elections governorship ticket.He maintained that the basis for sustainable peace and inter-ethnic harmony in the state, had been as a result of the party's Constitution on zoning and rotation of political offices.Despite the presence of highly respected stakeholders across the state, who can collectively defeat the APC, he said the zoning crisis may gravely affect this.Meanwhile, the guber aspirants sought President Goodluck Jonathan's intervention over this issue, demanding that he invoke his constitutional powers as provided in part VIII section 5, sub section 5(2) (e) of the PDP constitution as amended.They also demanded that he prevail over the National Working Committee to cancel the flawed Rivers State Ward Delegate Elections of 1st November, 2014 and ensuring that the policy of zoning and rotation of party and public elective offices are respected.Others include; declaring the exclusion of the zone that produced Amaechi from fielding candidates as observed in Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Adamawa and Enugu states, thus demanding that the Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus cease from handling all matters concerning Rivers State.This is due to allegations that he has been biased towards the governorship aspiration of Wike as against his duties.Driving home their threats, they stressed that all steps would be taken to ensure that power is given to who deserves it.'The national leadership of the PDP has maintained ominous silence on Rivers State, in spite of the timely advice from the South-South and Rivers State Elders forum, under the chairmanship of Chief E.K Clarke, urging the PDP to respect its own constitution by zoning the Rivers governorship seat to either the Riverine or Ogoni.
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