Barring any last change of mind, the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, and 27 members of the State House of Assembly loyal to him will be stopped from attending the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party slated for August 31, 2013.
The Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt shortly after appearing before the Performance Evaluation Committee of the state PDP.
It will be recalled that the state PDP had been facing political crisis since April 2013, a development that led to the suspension of the state governor and 27 members of the House of Assembly.
Wike explained that though he was not going to lead the state delegates of the PDP to the national convention, he was sure that those under suspension would not be part of the event.
The minister said it would not be possible for any member of the party that had been under suspension to partake in the activities of the PDP until the suspension was lifted.
“I know that all party chairmen are delegates; I know that House of Assembly members are delegates. Unfortunately, some of our House of Assembly members are suspended. That means they will not be able to participate in the forthcoming PDP national convention.
“If you are suspended from the party, you cannot be taking part in the activities of the party until your suspension is lifted. So it has nothing to do with me,” Wike stressed.
On the speculations that he was interested in the governorship position of the state, the minister pointed out that he had not told anybody that he was gunning for such position, adding that his role was to ensure that the PDP wins the state in the 2015 elections.
He said, “As per governing the state, if we are doing something that is not in line with their plans, they always read meanings to it. Whether anybody wants to govern or not, nobody is stopping anybody. It is God that gives power.
“My role today is to make sure that PDP still takes the state. That is what we are doing. If that is their view, they can die with the view.
“I have never told anybody but if they feel that I am very active in what I am doing to suggest that there is something I want to do, that is their own interpretation. But what I know is that PDP must grow from strength to strength.”
Wike told newsmen that he was in the state to honour the invitation from the Performance Evaluation Committee of the state PDP, maintaining that he does not need to disobey the party.
“I don’t need to disobey the party. If the party invites me to come for them (PDP) to interact with me, I have to honour that invitation,” he added.
Reacting to the minister’s position, the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree, said the governor and the 27 lawmakers that were suspended were not bothered about the convention coming up on Saturday.
Amachree, who spoke though his Press Secretary, Mr. Jim Okpiki, noted that the state and party were going through crisis, adding that until the crisis was resolved, it would not be necessary to bother about attending the PDP convention.
“We are not worried about convention, because we are currently in a crisis. Until the crisis is resolved, we are not bothered about the PDP convention. We are only interested in the return of peace.
“If this (not being part of the convention) is one of the sacrifices they (governor and 27 lawmakers) must make to ensure that peace returns to the state and the PDP, they would not go to ruffle anybody’s feathers,” he said.
The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Mr. Tony Okocha, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the despite the “illegally concocted suspension against the governor,” he (Amaechi) has remained loyal to the party.
Okocha said, “The governor’s suspension from the PDP was illegally concocted. One would have thought that they would waive it. But we are not bothered because it is a family matter and we are still loyal to the party.”