By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
I am sure that many watchers of political events in Rivers State would not have imagined that the political crisis rocking that state could last this long, especially against the backdrop that members of the clergy, traditional rulers, civil society, opinion leaders, to mention a few, have made frantic efforts as they know how to see an end to the imbroglio.
More worrisome is the fact that while some sane and well meaning Nigerians are seeking an end to the crisis, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state led by Chief Felix Obuah is constantly maintaining a posture that darkens on-going reconciliation efforts, that is if any genuine one exists. The recent expulsion of 18 loyalists of the state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, including Commissioners, is a case in point.
This development no doubt has cast a dark shadow on the efforts of concerned Nigerians who are eager to see the return of peace to this oil and gas-rich state.
This sad development described in some quarters as being unprecedented in modern politics was aptly captured by the member representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers State in the House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Hon. Dakuku Peterside, when he said: “Rivers people are peace-loving, decorous and law-abiding. Therefore, Obuah and his co-travelers are a disgrace to Rivers State. I wondered why a respected party leader like the former National Deputy Chairman of PDP, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, should even be considered for such despicable action of being expelled from the party. To me, the alleged expulsion is one of the absurdities of modern-day politics. This action of expelling Dr. Jaja and other leaders of the party in Rivers State is symptomatic of how caution is being thrown to the winds, while morality is on a steady decline. But like every responsible party member, I know this action is of no consequence as they do not have the power to do what they (Obuah-led PDP) claimed to have done. Dr. Jaja will contest the PDP party elections for the office of the Deputy National Chairman.
“For those ignorant of PDP Constitution, let me draw their attention to relevant sections of the PDP Constitution. According to Article 21.4 of the PDP Constitution, a member may be suspended by the Working Committee at any level but the member should not lose his or her right to contest any election. Furthermore, Article 21.6 states that ‘a decision taken against a member who has not been informed about the charges against him or her or has not been given any opportunity of defending him or herself shall be null and void.’ ”
Funny enough, the Inspector General of Police, Mohmamed Abubakar, recently swapped no fewer than 14 Commissioners of Police, leaving that of Rivers State – even while the National Assembly and other bodies have called for either Joseph Mbu’s transfer or removal. The only option left to those who still feel concerned about this unfortunate situation in Rivers State is to continue to pray for the safety of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the embattled Governor, as with God all things are possible.
•Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached through either firstname.lastname@example.org or 08038199163.