The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ward Chairmen in the twenty-three local government areas of Rivers State have called on the governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, to carry them along as he begins his second term in office.
In a chat with journalists on Friday, 31stMay 2019, a former councilor representing Ward 9 in Asari Toru LGA and chairman of PDP in the same ward, Hon. Owanate Clinton-West, who congratulated Governor Wike on the successful inauguration of his second term in office on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, described the continued neglect of the PDP ward chairmen in terms of appointment as discouraging, given the time, energy and resources they put in to ensure the success of the present administration at the all important grass root level through their various wards.
Hon. Clinton-West, who also described Governor Wike’s re-election and subsequent swearing in for a second term in office as a round peg in a round hole, however lamented that despite the meeting the 319 PDP ward chairmen had with Governor Wike and chairman of PDP in the state, Bro Felix Obuah on September 13, 2017 in Government House, Port Harcourt, during which some of the chairmen complained about being sidelined and schemed out of the process, nothing has come out of it yet.
Owanate Clinton-West, who is a pioneer member of the PDP in Asalga and is referred to as the chairmen of chairmen, further recalled how from 2012 to 2015, some of them were persecuted by the administration of former Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for supporting then minister of state for education, Nyesom Wike and especially for joining the Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI).
Still recounting the persecutions they were subjected to by the Amaechi administration for supporting Chief Wike then, Clinton-West revealed that some of them who were engaged as Special Advisers (S.A.s) to advisers and commissioners were relieved of their appointments without salaries or allowances.
He said that some of them were called such abusive names as Judas, saboteurs, traitors, among others, but despite that, they still stood firm and worked hard to ensure that Chief Wike won the battle.
Hon. Clinton-West, who wondered why they should be so neglected after making such sacrifice to ensure Governor Wike’s victory, noted that over 90% of the ward chairmen are graduates and professionals in various fields and are therefore qualified to hold both appointive and elective positions.
He therefore appealed to Governor Wike to remember the ward chairmen and carry them along in this second term, adding: “We have worked tirelessly for the success of the PDP project from the beginning till now and are still working round the clock to ensure that the party continues to march ahead.”