By Ernest Chinwo in Porthacourt
As the crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party deepens, the state Command of the Nigeria Police has said it would enforce the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which ousted the Chief Godpower Ake-led executive.
This came as the newly sworn-in chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Felix Obuah returned to a tumultuous welcome in Port Harcourt, while the ousted Ake alleged that the intrigues in the party were targeted at Governor Amaechi.
Ake, who hosted Local government Chairman in the state said the fight, which involved some unnamed political interests was aimed at destroying the structure put in place by Amaechi in the party and warned that such could be detrimental to the wellbeing and performance of the party.Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, vowed to deal ruthlessly with anyone or group of persons trying to foment trouble in any part of the state.
He said insinuations that there was a political crisis in the state was wrong and warned that the command would not hesitate to deal with anybody, who tried to cause tension in the state.
He stated that the role of his command was to obey the court ruling on the matter.
Mbu said, “We are supposed to obey the court judgment. We are here to enforce the law. At the moment, there is no instruction from the President, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Governor or anybody. We can only recognise and enforce the court judgment.
“For now, judgment has been given and we stand by that judgment until there is a contrary order. Anybody or group of persons that attempts to cause tension in the state will be dealt with ruthlessly.”
On the issue of security helicopters, recently purchased by the state, Mbu said he had no knowledge of the helicopters, since he resumed duty at the Command barely one month ago.
“I am barely a month old. I don’t know about helicopter. The governor is the chief security officer in the state and has been very supportive in that area, but I must say that I am neither aware nor seen any helicopter,” he stated.
Meanwhile, activities at the Port Harcourt International Airport were grounded for several hours as a mammoth crowd of supporters of Obuah stormed the airport to welcome him back to the state.
Addressing the crowd, Obuah, who was accompanied by former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Austin Opara; Sergeant Awuse, Senator Lee Maeba and others, said his mission was to unify warring factions within the party and bring back those who had left out of anger.
He warned that the party under his leadership would not tolerate unguarded utterances against the President Jonathan who he said is the leader of the party.
“I warn that we must be very careful and respect constituted authority. The leader of our great party PDP is President Goodluck Jonathan. We must be very guided in our utterances and very respectful knowing that we voted him to power” he said.
Receiving some chairmen of Local Government Councils who paid him a solidarity visit at his Port Harcourt residence, the ousted chairman, Ake alleged that the crisis in the party was a conspiracy with the ultimate aim to destroy Amaechi’s structure and the state government.
He accused the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, and other top politicians of being behind the crisis.
“What the detractors are doing is best known to them. It is disheartening for people to build a house and turn round to destroy it. Wike is however not alone in the fight against Amaechi. There are others at the top conspiring to destroy Amaechi's structure. The party is actually not the target but the Rivers State Government,” he said.
He decried the court ruling which removed from office but called on party members to remain calm.
Chairman of ALGON and Mayor of Port Harcourt, Chimbiko Akaralo, who led the delegation, said they were concerned about the situation n the party.
He said, “We are here to register our solidarity as members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), with you as the Chairman of the PDP in Rivers State. We are very much concerned about the issue at stake in Rivers State.
“As concerned PDP members, we frown against the unbecoming activities of disgruntled elements within the party who are bent on derailing the party.”