What could have resulted in the exclusion of the PDP from the local government elections in Rivers State may have been averted.
The decision to intervene and possibly reset the political clock came in the wake of a request made to the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission by the PDP asking for more time.
The Commission said in a statement released in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital, that its decision to extend the time was based on the request by the ruling party.
RSIEC quoted the PDP as saying that the Covid -19 pandemic had made it impossible for the Party to comply sufficiently with the guidelines set by the Commission.
Many in the State are not particularly shocked by the extension of time. Although time was running out, there was nothing to suggest that the PDP was reasonably prepared for the exercise which was expected to end last week.
But the turn around by the Commission, analysts argue, has exposed the fact that there may be certain endemic problems that are troubling the party of Governor Nyesom Wike.
One of such problems, insiders say, is the issue of the ongoing court battle in Owerri. The PDP has not been able to overcome the resolve of aggrieved members who dragged it to court, following the contention that Ambassador Desmond Akawor and others purportedly elected at various congresses, were not so elected.
The matter which has put elected party officials of the PDP in the square has similarly raised questions. Who has the right to forward the list of candidates to RSIEC in the absence of an elected executive committee?
More significantly, what is apparently playing out has shown that pockets of division exist within the ruling party in Rivers State.
Several persons within the Rivers PDP are alleging attempts by well placed interests to impose prefered candidates on other members of the party.
Party loyalists who spoke with our Correspondents think that Governor Nyesom Wike is reneging on a promise not to get involved in the party’s selection process.
When PDP members in Oyigbo Ward 8 gathered a few days ago to discuss the way forward, they were surprised to learn that the party only made available one nomination form.
Party members in that Ward who also expressed misgivings said it was clear that the PDP was in no mood to allow open participation in the process.
According to an angry PDP member from the Ward who spoke to our Correspondent “someone has filled the form and there are no forms for others who are aspiring. It is a shame that this is happening.”
In Etche, there were indications from some sources that a power sharing arrangement may have been worked out. We however cannot confirm if all the groups are satisfied with the deal.
As the weekend approached, there was an attempt to settle the rift in Okrika. There has been no consensus on the issue acording to information.
We are yet to confirm if an amicable settlement was reached at the end of the said meeting attended by critical stakeholders drawn from the area.
Members of the party, we have learnt are sharply divided over the issue of who should be chairman of council, with some among them allegedly threatening that local government elections would not hold in the area if an unfair choice is made.
In Ikwerre where a former SA to Governor Peter Odili was assaulted, some party members are unhappy over what appears to have ended in the endorsement of particular persons.
Our findings reveal that matters are gradually getting out of hand as groups within the State PDP struggle for political relevance.
It is not clear where all these would end, but observers note that the PDP in Rivers State may be sitting on a ticking bomb.
Subscribe for newsletter
* You will receive the latest news and updates on your favorite celebrities!