Despite the recent ruling of the Justice Okon Abang-led Abuja Federal High Court on the wrangling in the party, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has insisted that there was no court order stopping the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from proceeding with its National Convention billed for August 17 in Port Harcourt, adding that the event would go on as planned.
The Judge had ruled that the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee planning the convention was “illegal” based on the verdict of the Ikeja division of the Federal High Court, hence cannot take decisions on behalf of the PDP.
But Wike clarified that the court was yet to hear the suit filed by embattled factional National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, challenging the holding of the National convention.
Addressing the South-south Executive Committee of the PDP at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, he said: “The court could not have sacked Senator Ahmed Makarfi because it cannot sit on appeal on the judgment of a court of coordinate jurisdiction.”
The governor asserted that there is an application to allow Senator Makarfi to be joined as a party in the suit, stressing that the suit was adjourned to August 15.
He maintained that the suit challenging the conduct of the national convention is yet to be entertained by the court.
Speaking further, Wike assured that the Edo State chapter of the PDP would be supported to win the state governorship election on September 10.
“PDP in the South-south cannot be complete until we take over Edo State. Therefore, I urge INEC to conduct free and fair elections in Edo State and every other state where we have elections.
“I thank the party in Edo State for doing quite well in their campaigns. As an opposition party, they have promoted the party’s chances through committed campaigns,” he said.
On the forthcoming national convention, the governor stated that the leaders of the PDP in the southern geo-political zone would meet last Thursday to determine the zoning of positions.
He expressed optimism that the PDP would emerge stronger from the current challenges as Nigerians are waiting for the party to provide leadership.
In his remarks, National Vice Chairman of the PDP (South-south), Emma Ogidi, commended Wike for using the people’s mandate to transform Rivers State.
He described the governor as a complete party man who has helped in rebuilding the party through his engagements with party stakeholders across the country.
The South-south Executive Committee of the PDP also conferred an award of excellence on Wike.