As the crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lingers, Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has called on the state executive of the party to embrace peace and reconcile all aggrieved members.
This came as the state chapter of the PDP has said it would support President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential elections.
Wike spoke Saturday at a thanksgiving ceremony organised by the state PDP at the Port Harcourt Club, Old GRA, Port Harcourt to celebrate the court judgement that ushered in the Chief Felix Obuah-led executive.
Wike, who was mobbed by the enthusiastic crowd when called to the podium for his address, expressed joy for the event and advised the party executive to tow the line of peace and reconciliation.
He also advised the chairman to see himself as a father and not allow the party to be thrown into conflicts.
He restated that he was not the leader of the party in the state, stressing that Governor Chibuike Amaechi remained the leader of the party and should be accorded his due respect in all matters.
He advised the executive not to allow itself to be dragged into any controversy as those who lost out in the court were bound to be angry. Wike said, “Power has returned to the original owners. The people who just lost out in the process will be angry and they will show anger in their behaviour towards you. It is only natural because they are human beings too.
“However, we should not allow ourselves to be drawn into unnecessary feuds because they are abusing us. We must be abused. The chairman of our party should see himself as a father and make sure he reconciles all aggrieved party members. He must have a large heart and now proceed to go and bring back his children.
“I must state this again, I am a minister and not the governor of the state and the governor of the state is the party leader and must be respected as such.”
In his speech, the state chairman of PDP, Chief Felix Obuah, said the state would back Jonathan in the 2015 elections if he presented himself for re-election.
Obuah noted that Jonathan was a kinsman, a brother and an in-law of the people of the state, adding that as the leader of the party and Nigeria who had performed well, he deserve a second chance.
He added that the ceremony was to assure the party members in the state that his administration was out for peace and to reconcile aggrieved members, while also intensifying efforts to re-position the party.
“This event is to re-assure our party members that my administration is for peace, our foundation is God and we are for the reconciliation of all aggrieved members of the party.” Obuah said.
He restated that the party in the state was not factionalised as being promoted by some people and that disagreement among members were natural occurrences in politics.
“There can be disagreement among members, such makes for robust democracy and that is what politics is all about,” he said.
He however expressed regret at some comments by some people that the executive and its supporters were after the state treasury, describing the comments as cheap blackmail.
“We are concerned when people employ cheap blackmail and false alarms to portray occasions when there are disagreements, especially those fond of portraying others as being after the state’s treasury. These are not acceptable to the party leadership. Rivers State is PDP state and it shall remain so in 2015. No group of people can make the change because all those who can make the changes are here present today,” he said.