*As Agbaje blast Okorocha for much suffering in the state
By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie
Owerri— Two state chairmen have emerged in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State, following parallel congresses held in the state.
Vanguard, who monitored the development yesterday in Owerri, observed that the congresses were organized in line with the current Ali Modu Sheriff and the Ahmed Makarfi factions.
While the Sheriff faction has named Nnamdi Anyaehie as State Chairman, the loyalists of the Makarfi faction were still casting their votes at press time.
According to a letter dated May 18, 2016, signed by Sheriff and the it National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, “We are the only authentic organ of the party in the state empowered to organize and implement all party programmes and events”.
The Sheriff-led faction equally empowered Anyaehie to conduct primaries for the election of the party’s candidates in the state for the next general election, as well as other functions expected of the State Executive Committee.
Other names released by the Sheriff faction included Chief Willie Amadi, Deputy Chairman, and Sir George Eguh, Secretary.
Meanwhile, the Makarfi-led faction was still busy with their congress at the Kanu Nwankwo Sports Centre, Aladinma, Owerri, under the watchful eyes of the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Chief Austin Opara.
In another development, contestant to the National Chairmanship position of the party and Lagos State PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje has sympathised with Imo people over the level of suffering in the state.
Agbaje who was conducted round the venue of the PDP congress in Imo by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, yesterday, said that while he was driving into the state, he saw roads that were “destroyed” in the name of construction.
He also said, “the people of Imo state are suffering and I want you to unite and elect your state officers in order to take over this state and return good governance to the people.”
Prior to the commencement of the election proper, the PDP congress chairman, Imo State, Mr. Austin Opara called for a motion to dissolve the caretaker committee of the party. Mr Ogueri Nwere moved the motion for the dissolution of the Caretaker Committee and was supported by Mr. Maxwell Nnabuihe.
In his opening remarks, Opara described the congress as an opportunity to return PDP back to Imo people and Nigerians at large. He however, regretted that the party was passing through a harrowing moment just because some members have refused to shift ground for peace to reign.
“Bickering has made us lose this state and we can’t afford to make the same mistake again.”
Speaking also,before the congress the former governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, expressed optimism that the outcome of the congress would bring to the end, the level of disservice given to Imo people in the name of governance.
“This congress is going to be peaceful. Everybody is desirous. They forgot their personal ambitions just to see that things go well. Look, you can’t rule out the fact that some people may be aggrieved after this congress but we will go after them and bring them back to the party and PDP will continue to be one”, he said.