No valid court order stopping PDP national convention – Wike
By – Adolphus Oseiwe Igenegbale
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will hold on May 21 as scheduled, insisting that there was no valid court order stopping the party from holding the convention.
This came as the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, on Tuesday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he did not authorise anybody to file a suit on his behalf.
Wike, who is also the chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee of the PDP, said he had not been served any such order.
He added that the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos was filed by an imposter and that the national chairman of the party had written to the court informing it of the fraud.
Wike spoke during his appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily broadcast monitored in Port Harcourt yesterday.
He said: “There is no valid court order stopping the PDP National Convention.
The suit at the Federal High Court Lagos was filed by an imposter. As a chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee, I have not been served any court order. How can there be an order when I did not go to court?”
The governor also said the national convention of the party would hold on May 21 as scheduled because shifting the convention would be dangerous as there would be no National Working Committee (NWC) after that date.
He said the right processes have been followed and congresses held at different levels leading to the national convention.
Wike also declared that the PDP emerged stronger from the recent challenges because all leaders of the party were working to keep the party united, adding that the party stakeholders have resolved their differences by placing the survival of the party above other considerations.
“At the point we are now, we want everybody to be together to form a united opposition in the interest of the nation. When a presidential candidate emerges from the north in 2018, the Chairman of the party will come from the South,” he said.
Speaking further, the governor said: “We will no longer allow the imposition of candidates. We are encouraging every candidate to contest elections and emerge through popular votes. We will not allow impunity or imposition.”
The governor also said he has lost confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission “INEC” because the commission “is too inconsistent”, as it works to promote the interest of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
“I don’t have confidence in the present INEC. It is too inconsistent and acts outside the law,” he said.
The governor explained that in Rivers State, the APC has used INEC to generate tension by attempting to manipulate the electoral process for eight local government areas where INEC had already cancelled elections during the March 19 rerun elections in the state.
He said it was unfortunate that INEC had set up a committee to review already cancelled elections, saying the move would lead to avoidable crisis.
Wike recalled that the APC after the March 19 rerun elections issued statements calling for the cancellation of the elections, but pointed out that the same APC has made a u-turn by approaching the election tribunal to declare her candidates winners. He regretted that INEC has tacitly supported the APC by refusing to file defence for the declared results at the election tribunals.
The governor expressed optimism that the PDP would win the up-coming governorship election in Edo State.
“From what we have seen on ground in Edo State, this is the best time to capture the state. We have sent independent assessors to the state and they have adjudged that the PDP has the opportunity to take over Edo,” he said.