Agitation for political relevance in Rivers State thickened on on Wednesday as delegates and aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party took to the streets of Abuja with placards and a coffin protesting against alleged injustice by the party’s hierarchy.
A detachment of over 60 policemen were seen standing in formation controlling the crowd.
As early as 10:00 am, the protesters and their supporters numbering over 1000 marched to the PDP national secretariat with a coffin labeled ‘UCHE SECONDUS’ protesting against non-issuance of party clearance certificate and exclusion from party primaries process.
Amongst the persons protesting include those who purchased forms for the party’s Adhoc Ward Delegates elections but were stopped from participating in the delegates’ elections; and House of Assembly/National Assembly aspirants who bought nomination forms but were not cleared to participate in the primaries.
The aggrieved members believed that it was unfair that a few people are being allowed to subvert the party’s Constitution and Electoral Guidelines to the detriment of the people of Rivers State.
One of the aggrieved House of Assembly aspirant from Abua/Odual LGA in Rivers State, Eyalada Akari, said that they have resolved to continue the blockade of the gates of the party offices until their grievances are settled.
“I and my colleagues spent huge sums of money to procure Party Nomination Forms and pay all sorts of fees, now they have refused to clear us to participate in the primaries without even dignifying us with a reason.
“Over 200 aspirants bought forms to contest in the PDP House of Assembly primaries and only 45 were allegedly cleared; what would happen to the rest of us? We will do whatever it takes and remain here until they allow us to participate in authentic primaries of the party.”
Most of the delegates and aspirants that spoke with journalists at the venue of the protest said that there were no delegates elections or Assembly primaries in Rivers State and that the national leadership must intervene to halt the impending destruction of the PDP in Rivers State allegedly being brought on by the dastardly activities of the trio of Prince Uche Secondus, Felix Obuah and Nyesom Wike.
As at press time, the gates of the National Secretariat of the PDP remain closed with only a few security men seen inside the compound.
Members of the PDP Secretariat Press Corps were also not allowed to enter the premises.