*Okowa requests prayers for Buhari
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its expanded stakeholders’ meeting in Asaba, the state capital, resolved to continue stick with the Ahmed Makarfi-led group despite the appeal Port Harcourt appellate court ruling affirming Bonu Sheriff as the party’s National Chairman.
The PDP meeting, which held at the state PDP Secretariat, Asaba, had in attendance Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Deputy Governor, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, State PDP Chairman, Mr Kingsley Esiso, secretary to state government (SSG) South-South zonal chairman of the party, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi as well as the senators representing Delta South and Delta North, respectively, James Manager and Peter Nwaoboshi.
Also at the well-attended meeting were ex-information minister, Prof Sam Oyovbaire, various members of House of Representatives and the Delta State House of Assembly, various present and past political appointees in the state, national and state women leaders including Dr Stella Omu, party leaders from the 25 local government areas and leaders at the ward level.
The decision of the Delta PDP to remain loyal to the caretaker committee led by the former Kaduna State governor was among several resolutions contained in a communiqué at the end of the meeting that lasted for over two hours and full of speeches and goodwill messages.
The meeting also resolved that the strength of the party remained with the Makarfi group, chosen at the May 25, 2016 National Convention of the party held in Port Harcourt, noting that all the outcomes and products of the party congresses from the zonal, state, local government to the ward levels “remain intact” as they are not affected by the recent decision of the appellate court in Port Harcourt.
The stakeholders also unanimously resolved to stand by the decision of the party leaders at the national level, including the Forum of PDP Governors led by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, to challenge the ruling of the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt at the Nigerian Supreme Court, which is the final stop in such legal battle.
The communiqué was duly ratified by a resounding voice vote conducted by the state PDP Chairman, Esiso.
Speaking earlier, Governor Okowa, who expressed confidence that the PDP in the state remained formidable and was indeed waxing stronger, advised party members who were still with the Sheriff group in the state to have a rethink and return to what he considered the mainstream PDP group.
Okowa, who warned all elected leaders and political appointees against abandoning their responsibilities to the party and their respective local constituencies, predicted the crashing of the Sheriff-led PDP in no distant future, saying the heart and soul of the PDP was represented in the Makarfi group, which he described as created by the highest decision making body of the party.
He stressed that party chairmen at all levels should not take side but remain neutral whenever it is election time even as he urged those interested in contesting future elections not unduly heat up the polity.
“For those preparing for election, please don’t heat up the system”, Okowa said, adding.”At the appropriate time we will do what is right and respect the wishes of the people.”
However, the governor requested for prayers for the “quick recovery of the nation’s leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the whole country desired that Mr President gets well quickly and return to work as Nigeria’s leader.
“I want to wish the President speedy recovery and quick return to Nigeria”, Okowa said, adding, “Let nobody wish him (Mr President) otherwise as life and death is in the hands of God, we will continue to pray for his quick recovery”.
A special prayer was subsequently said for President Buhari’s full recovery and return to the country soon.
A minute silence was also observed in honour f a deceased member of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mrs Omawumi Udoh, who [passed away in a London hospital recently.