July 19, 2024

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Amaewhule, His Friends No Longer Members of PDP-PDP NEC Member

6 min read

Leaders of the PDP at the national and Rivers State levels have been quiet since the face-off between Sim Fubara, Rivers State governor and his estranged godfather, Nyesom Wike started.

On Thursday last week when the court of appeal gave judgement on two critical matters affecting the interest of its members in Edo and Rivers, the PDP leadership chose to respond to the Edo judgement but remained quiet on the Rivers judgement. What is going on? Has the PDP truly abandoned Fubara? This was one of the questions we posed to Chief Patrick Agbe, a member of the PDP NEC and spokesperson of ex-officio members from the south-south, in this telephone interview with OFONIME UMANAH.

Excerpts:  

How come the PDP is silent about what is going on in Rivers State? I ask because of yesterday the other day there was a court pronouncement in Rivers State and in Edo State from two courts. The PDP responded in the case of Edo State, but in the case of Rivers State, the PDP is quite.

Well, you are aware or you might not be aware that the state exco of the Rivers State PDP was dissolved and a caretaker committee was put in place, but the caretaker committee that was put in place is not loyal to Governor Fubara and so there is an issue which is impending in court over the caretaker committee in Rivers State. So, the PDP as a party in Rivers State will not be able to discuss as it concerns most especially Fubara because there is no existing exco in Rivers State.

The person who responded in the case of Edo State was the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP and he spoke and defended the PDP candidate on the case, based on the outcome of the court case, but in the case of Rivers State, there was not a statement from the PDP and till now there has not been any statement from the PDP concerning what the court did yesterday, talking about the appeal court.

I cannot say why the PDP national has not commented on the issue of the Rivers State and the 27 law makers as it concerns the judgment yesterday but I can speak as a member of NEC and a coordinating member of the NEC south south ex-officio as it concerns Rivers State in the judgment yesterday.

So what was your takeaway from what happened?

Nothing has changed. The statues quo remains because the appeal court yesterday did not decide or give judgment on whether (Martins) Amaewhule is still a member of the party or is still a member of the state house of assembly. What the court actually talked about is the jurisdiction as it bothers the state high court in Rivers to have given the judgment they did or the injunction they did earlier.

So, if the appeal court said that the Rivers State High Court does not have the jurisdiction, that does not invalidate the fact that the 27 lawmakers have left the party; that does not invalidate the fact that the 27 law makers no longer swore to an affidavit that they have left the party. So, that is a discussion or a matter to be decided on its own. The appeal court did not talk about that, so I do not know what the jubilation and mix up is in Rivers State. As far as I am concerned as a member of NEC, a member from the South south NEC coordinating the national ex-officio South south, the judgment still remains in favour of Governor Sim Fubara.

However, the lawyers have still gone ahead to challenge the issue of that jurisdiction which at the Supreme Court. Even if the matter finishes and the Supreme Court still says the state high court does not have the jurisdiction, it does not still invalidate the fact that Amaewhule and the rest have sworn to an affidavit that they are no longer members of the PDP. So when we get to that point we shall take a fresh issue on whether they are still in PDP or not. But I can tell you, even though I am not a lawyer, that the judgment of the appeal court has no business on determining whether they are still members or not members. It talked solely on jurisdiction.

So, at your level of membership of the PDP and particularly belonging to the PDP NEC would it be right to say that your position is that Amaewhule and co are not members of the PDP?

That’s very correct. That is my position and that is the position of the law; they are no longer members. Or have they gone to withdraw the initial oath they swore on affidavit? Is it possible to withdraw the oath? They have already done that and I don’t think there is anything greater than that. They have sworn an oath that they are no longer members of the party, what kind of resignation again do I need to give? If today I choose to leave the party as an elected member of the ex-officio in Cross River State, representing the state in the NEC, I might not give them an outright resignation, but if I go ahead to make an oath, an affidavit in court that I am no longer a member of this party, they don’t need any other resignation, the oath is greater than that resignation because it is even possible to tender a letter and somebody will come up to say no, I am not the one who wrote the letter. But in this affidavit, you cannot deny that.

What you are saying in other words is that you are giving Fubara the assurance that you guys in the PDP are with him in this battle?

Fubara has my support and has the support of every progressive member of the PDP, both in Rivers State and in the country, most especially in the south-south, the crisis in the PDP, as far as I am concerned, does not have anything to do with the 27 assembly members. They have since left the PDPand we cannot have two house of assembly members to be representing PDP. So the judgment as far as I am concerned is still in favour of Fubara and Fubara has my support.

So what will you be telling Amaewhule, the PDP members and co, as things stand?

Point of correction, Amaewhule and co-the 27 persons- are no longer members of the PDP because they have already sworn an oath that they have left the party. If today the PDP is calling for state house of assembly members to have a meeting, or the PDP speakers in the country, Amaewhule cannot attend such a meeting and the 27 other members are no longer counted as members of the house of assembly in the 36 states of the PDP, they have already left.

Any matter concerning the south- south in the PDP, I will be ready to make my contributions as it concerns my party because that is the only party I belong to and that is the only party the governor of Rivers State and his three house of assembly members belong to. So we will be talking as it concerns our party, our governor, our house of assembly members; even if it means mobilizing support for him beyond Rivers State, the governor and the house of assembly members should know that they have our support from the south south of PDP.

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