By Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The crisis engulfing the Rivers state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new dimension as the new state executive committee led by Chief Felix Obuah and the secretary, Walter Opuene said that they would set up a committee to exercise oversight function and audit the administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other elected officials in the state.
The oversight function and audit of the administration of Governor Amaechi and other elected officials was to ensure that they kept the promise of social contract with the people, while any elected official that fell short of the audit and oversight function would be recommended to the anti-graft agencies in the country.
According to the statement by the new chairman of PDP in the state, Obuah and the secretary, Opuene, said, “The new committee will, effective immediately, set up a committee that will exercise oversight responsibilities over the conduct of the elected officials from councillors, chairmen, and the vice, legislators at all levels of government and the government at the state level.
“The afore mentioned committee will audit the activities of all elected officials vis-à-vis the projects on ground and the budgetary provisions thereon to conform if fiscal responsibility has been adhered to.
“Officials that acquit themselves creditably will receive commendation from the party while officials who fall short or are involved in corrupt practices, negligence, recklessness or failure to comply with due process will be referred to the relevant anti graft agencies so that the chances of the party at the next election will not be compromised," the statement said.
Though, they said that the aim of this was not to impeach or witchhunt Amaechi, but to ensure that the chances of the party to remain on top at the next election was guaranteed.
Also, division has ensued in the Rivers state House of Assembly as some members yesterday ruled out the impeachment of Amaechi in the crisis in the state, but insisted the Governor should recognize the new state executive of the party led by Chief Felix Obuah and allow party supremacy to reign in the state.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the Chairman of the Rivers state PDP Legislators Forum, Hon. Kingsely Chinda said that though, “there is no plan to impeach Amaechi, what was happening in Rivers state chapter of the PDP was to enthrone the supremacy of party politics above persons and strengthen the party over and above individuals and ensure the supremacy of the party.
“PDP is higher than Governor Amaechi. Party is stronger than Amaechi and PDP can do without any one and we are not aware that the governor is planning to decamp to another party. Even any one wants to leave the PDP, the All Progressive Congress (APC) is not a threat to us in the Rivers state PDP”, he said.
Also in his comment at the press conference, Senator Lee Maeba said that the party in the state does not belong to Governor Amaechi as PDP means, ‘ Peoples Democratic Party and that is that the party belongs to the people and not to Governor Amaechi.
According to the chairman of the Rivers state legislators, the phrase, ‘ Oga and Madam at the top’ used by the chairman of the Rivers PDP caucus, Hon. Asita Honourable is derogatory to President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, stating that the use of such word is ‘to say the least awfully scurrilous, derogatory and disrespectful of the office and person of Mr. President and his wife, more so as it is coming from a supposed Honourable members of the House of Representatives and a very senior lawyer”.
He said that whatever Asita said at the said press conference remains his personal view as he was not mandated to speak for Rivers state lawmakers, denying also that the new chairman of the PDP in the state was never imposed on the party in the state.
He said, “Obuah and members of his executive were voted for at the congress and was never imposed on the state, as some will like to say”.
In another statement read by Sergeant Awuse along side with the former deputy speaker of the House of Representative, Austin Opara, they disclaimed the former chairman of the party in the state, Chief Godspower Akeh, describing him as ‘imposition’ against the will of the people.
Awuse said that a reconciliatory committee has been sent in place to ensure that no member of the party is excluded in the affairs of the party, explaining that under the present dispensation that there would be no exclusion of members.
Awuse and Opara said that Rivers State is a PDP state, as the opposition parties in the state was as a result of politics of exclusion orchestrated by the former executive led by Akeh.
The Rivers state legislators that attended the press briefing include the following Kelechi Wogu, Ihua Victor, Kingsley Chinda, Evans Bibi, Mike Chinda, Martins Chike and Anthony Okeh, while the press conference by the Rivers PDP elders was addressed by Chief Sergeant Awuse, Mrs. Toru Ofili, Austin Opara, and Lee Maeba among others.