The supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has called on members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State to be united to ensure victory for President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections.
He also dismissed allegations that the Grassroots Development Initiatives (GDI), his political structure, had hijacked the PDP in the state, stressing that only members of the party would choose a candidate to run for governor in the next election.
Wike spoke when he visited an ex-militant leader, ‘General’ Sobomabo Jackrich (also known as Egberipapa), at his Usokun residence in Degema Local Government Area of the state.
He urged party members who were protesting against the perceived hijacking of the party structures by the GDI to sheathe their swords and work together to ensure that Jonathan is successfully returned for a second term in 2015.
He said: “I urge all of us to unite and work together for the victory of our party in the general election in 2015. Our priority should be how we can collectively ensure the re-election of President Jonathan in 2015.
“I don’t think we should concern ourselves for now on who succeeds Governor Chibuike Amaechiin 2015. We should come together and work for the good of our party rather than allow side talks by our political opponents to set us against one another.”
The minister further stated that as the leader of the party in the state and a loyal party man, he would always abide by the rules and wishes of the party.
He said at the appropriate time, all stakeholders would sit down together as a family to choose who would represent the party in the 2015 gubernatorial election in the state.
The former militant leader, Jackrich, who is the founder of the Kengema Unity Forum (KUF) and the Director General of the Network for the Defence of Democracy and Good Governance, (NDDGG), earlier said the GDI in Asari-Toru Local Government Area was operating as a parallel organisation to the PDP.
“Members of the GDI in our local government area are behaving as if the GDI is superior to the PDP. The PDP is the umbrella body of all other associations to which PDP members belong. Some GDI members are creating division among PDP members which would be inimical to our electoral fortunes in 2015,” he lamented.
He commended Wike’s efforts at ensuring that Jonathan secured a second tenure.
“We acknowledge your loyalty to President Jonathan. We also appreciate the crucial role you played to reposition the PDP in the state. Despite the challenges confronting us, we in the KUF will not relent until the purpose for which the group was formed is realised. We assure you and President Jonathan of our support,” Jackrich said.