Rivers PDP expels 19 Amaechi loyalists

The political turmoil in Rivers State took a further plunge on Monday with the expulsion by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of 14 commissioners and five other senior officers in Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s cabinet from the party.
The affected members were expelled, according to state Chairman of the party, Felix Obuah, because they failed to appear before the performance and evaluation committee set up by his own faction of the PDP.
Performance and evaluation was one of the committees inaugurated on May 9, by the new state executive council of the party led by Obuah after taking over the chairmanship of the PDP following the sack of the Godspower Ake-led executive committee by an Abuja High Court.
Addressing newsmen at the party secretariat in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Monday, Obuah said the expulsion was necessitated by lack of respect for the leadership of the party by the affected members.
He said they all acted contrary to the rules of the party.
Those expelled include Sam Sam Jaja, immediate past National Vice Chairman of the PDP; George Feyii, Secretary to the State Government; Tony Okocha, Chief of Staff to the Governor; and Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, Administrator of the new Greater Port Harcourt City Authority (GPHCA).
Among the commissioners expelled from the party are Ibim Semenitari (Information), Wogu Boms (Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice), Emmanuel Chinda, Okey Amadi Samuel Eyibe, Patricia Simon-Hart, Ezemonye Amadi and Charles Okoye.
Others are Gogo Charles, Nabbs Imegwu, Austin Wokocha and Fred Igwe.
Obuah stated that the expelled party members failed to honour the party’s invitation to explain to the Rivers people what they had done with the mandate they got on the party’s platform to serve the people.
Obuah, who had earlier received the report of the committee in a brief ceremony, said the committee was set up to evaluate the performance of government officials serving on the platform of PDP.
He said the committee recommended that those that refused to honour its invitation be expelled from the party.
The chairman said the state executive committee of the party had met and endorsed the recommendation.
He reiterated that the party is supreme to its members, pointing out that the executives endorsed the recommendation to save the party from implosion.
He noted that those that refused to honour the invitation were recalcitrant members who had been hobnobbing with the opposition to destabilise the party in the state.
“We will not condone any act of indiscipline from any member of the party, no matter how highly placed the person is. No individual person is bigger than a party,” Obuah said.
Reacting to the expulsion, the sacked chairman of the party, Godspower Ake, said the poor reception and attendance at the Felix Obuah evaluation/performance committee by members of the PDP in Rivers State was a clear proof that the committee had “totally failed on take-off.”
Ake added that the exercise was an “open rejection of Obuah and his co-travelers by the real owners of the PDP in Rivers State.”
Speaking through a statement by George Ukwuoma-Nwogba, a former publicity secretary of the party, Ake said “the wicked motive of these imposters to suspend all PDP members loyal to Governor Chibuike Amaechi makes nonsense of the whole exercise.
“Besides, it is a total waste of time and alien to the party constitution. It has neither a history nor precedent in the PDP from the days of its founding fathers most of whom are still alive,” he added.
Ake loyalists denounced the whole motive behind the latest action, saying they rejected the committee as the legitimacy of the Obuah faction of the party was still being challenged in the Court of Appeal.
The group therefore advised Obuah that rather than cause more divisions in the party, “He (Obuah) should seek an avenue to apologise to Governor Rotimi Amaechi instead of making unguarded utterances in the media capable of undermining the party.
So far, the Obuah-led executive of the Rivers State PDP has punished no fewer than 45 members, excluding the Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, since it took over the mantle of the PDP leadership few months ago.
It will be recalled that the party had earlier suspended 27 members of the state House of Assembly over what it described as anti-party activities.
When asked about the fate of the Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, and that of the three Senators who also did not appear before the committee, Obuah said their case was still under consideration.

Daily Independent
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