Dear Sir: On Monday 24 November 2014 I was notified by the Gubernatorial Screening Committee (south south zone) chaired by Amb Obed Wadzani that I was not cleared to contest the PDP Gubernatorial Primary Election based upon a single petition written by one Ere Manuel Chairman of PDP (Akuku Toru chapter).
On Wednesday 26 November 2014 following an appeal by me in writing to the Gubernatorial Screening Appeal Panel, the esteemed Panel under the most distingished chairmanship of the respected Arc. Bunu upheld my appeal and cleared me to contest the gubernatorial primary election demonstrating the high integrity of the leadership of the party and its organs and the party’s unwavering respect for the party constitution and the rule of law.
I subsequently learned that Chief Nyesom Wike CON also an aspirant to the office of Governor of Rivers State on the platformm of the PDP had previously been cleared by the Gubernatorial Screening Committee (South South zone)to contest the gubernatorial primary election in Rivers State.
This comes to me as a surprise because Chief Nyesom Wike is from the same Ikwerre ethnic nationality as the incumbent governor of Rivers State Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi CON who was elected on the platform of the PDP and would by May 2015 have been in office as Governor of Rivers State for a period of eight years.
It is particularly significant that the said Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi succeeded another distinguished Ikwerre son – Sir Celestine Omehia who had also been elected Governor of Rivers state on the platform of the PDP on 29 May 2007, though his tenure was terminated by the Judgement and Order of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on 26 October 2007, by which the Court ordered the swearing in of the Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi as the authentic gubernatorial candidate of the PDP, that won the 2007 gubernatorial election.
I observe that one of the mandatory processes for the submission of Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for all aspirants to the office of Governor of a State is “a sworn declaration made before a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public, undertaking to abide by the guidelines, all laws and any rules or regulations made by the party relating to the conduct of primary elections”. This sworn declaration was required to accompany the duly completed Nomination forms. I have taken the liberty of attaching a copy of the declaration that accompanied my own Nomination form.
The Constitution of the PDP 2012 (as amended) clearly and expressly stipulates inter alia that the Party, and a fortiori, all members of the Party shall “conform with the principles of power shift and power sharing by rotating key political offices amongst the diverse peoples of the country” (Article 2 (d) of the Preamble).
Further Article 7(3)(c) of the Constitution provides that the Party SHALL adhere “to the policy of the rotation and zoning of Party and Public elective officves in pursuance of the principles of equity justice and fairness”.
I believe that with due respect to Ambassador Obed Wadzani and his Gubernatorial Screening Committee, that this crucial point must have been an oversight on the part of the Gubernatorial Screening Committee that cleared Chief Nyesom Wike, who is clearly not eligible to contest the Gubernatorial Primary Election in Rivers State, having regard to the above clear and express mandatory and binding prescriptions of the Constitution of the PDP 2012 (as amended) relating to power shift and rotation of key political and/or public offices, and binding on all Party Members and Organs.
I trust that the Party will thus take appropriate measures or steps to immediately correct this anomaly and to exclude the said Chief Nyesom Wike from taking part in the Gubernatorial primary elections in Rivers State in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of the Party which all aspirants to the office of governor on the platform of the party undertook by declaration on oath to abide by.
H. Odein Ajumogobia SAN OFR