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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Jonathan’s Aide, Delta PDP Chair In Free-for-all

Hell was let loose yesterday in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, when the Special Adviser on Intergovernmental Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Mariam Ali, and the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, engaged in a free-for-all.
The show of shame took place at the secretariat of the party in Asaba.
The secretariat was practically turned into a boxing ring as the combatants threw decorum into the winds. Their clothes were torn into shreds while the commotion lasted in the presence of their aides, members of the party and top officials of the state government as well as security agents.
Yesterday’s show of shame was not the first for Ali a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP. In 2011, she had in a similar fashion, in the company of her daughters, assaulted officials of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council at their Wuse Zone 6 office, for marking her property in Asokoro for demolition.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the members of the party and top government officials had gathered at the secretariat to witness the formal presentation of official vehicles to the chairmen of the party in the 25 local councils of the state.
Although the sitting arrangement on the high table triggered the crisis, LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the ambition of two of them to seek the nomination of the party to represent Delta North in the Senate in the 2015 election might have fuelled the animosity between them.
Ali and Nwaoboshi hail from Delta North. Two of them had declared interest in the seat currently occupied by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who is seeking the gubernatorial ticket of the party.
The BoT member, who is also the wife of a former national chairman of the party, Dr Ahmadu Ali, had earlier protested that no seat was reserved for her on the high table despite her status as a national leader of the party.
Ali, who had earlier sat comfortably on a chair on the high table, was ordered to vacate the seat by security agents, who claimed that it was meant for the state’s deputy governor, Prof. Amos Utuama.
It was gathered that Nwaoboshi joined forces with the security agents to force the party’s BoT member to surrender the seat.
The development was said to have angered Mariam Ali, who reportedly confronted Nwaoboshi to demand the reason for the shabby treatment.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that the claim by Nwaoboshi that he was not aware of the status of Mariam Ali as a BoT member of PDP infuriated her. The heated argument by the two PDP leaders degenerated and members of the party watched helplessly as two of them engaged in fisticuffs.
Sanity did not prevail until their clothes were turned to shreds. They were later helped into their cars by some party leaders.
Nwaoboshi, who later spoke to journalists, said Mariam Ali was the aggressor.
“Despite the provocation, I did not retaliate, even when she slapped me twice and tore my dress to shreds. She could have been lynched if not for my intervention and that of security men and the elders of the party,” he said.
Nwaoboshi said Ali would be punished for her conduct. “The party leaders have decided to report her to the party executives of her local government and wards but the state executives would write a report to the National Executive of the party over the misdeeds of Ali,” he added.
Ali could not be reached for her reaction before press time last night. She ignored the persistent calls our correspondent put to her cell phone.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday also commissioned 25 vehicles bought by the state branch of the PDP for its chairmen at the local government level.
Governor Uduaghan, during the commissioning, held in Asaba, observed that the national Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu had brought a new lease of life to the party that has positioned it to win all forthcoming elections in the country.
“Today, we have a game changer as chairman of the party at the national level. The fortunes of the party are turning around,” the governor said, explaining that the vehicles which were provided by the state PDP were to facilitate the movement of the local government party chairmen.
According to him, “our state chairman is developing and uniting our party and at the local government level, the chairmen must have structures and continue to reconcile members of the party because, we believe in grassroots politics.
“We have developed enough persons to win every ward election, especially in Delta state because there is no party in Nigeria that has its presence in every ward apart from the PDP.”
Governor Uduaghan used the occasion to appeal to members of the PDP to always be slow to anger, saying, “I want to appeal to all of us, let us not react in anger. There are people who are always there to annoy you but we need to be slow to anger. We need everybody to move forward and with all that happened before 2011, I did promise God that what I want to do is to unite the party.”
He also urged leaders of the party at the local government levels to ensure that the forthcoming local government elections are devoid of rancour, stressing that all disagreements and challenges should be resolved before the elections so that nobody would be given any room to move to other political parties.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi had said that the 25 vehicles were to facilitate movements of the chairmen of the PDP at the local government areas to enable them function effectively for the good of the party.
He thanked Dr Uduaghan for his support for the PDP, noting that the state secretariat of the party, which he described as the best state secretariat of any political party in the country, was ready for commissioning.
Also speaking at the occasion, leaders of the party in Delta North, Delta Central and Delta South Senatorial Districts, Chief Godwin Iwegbue, Chief George Sefia and Hon. Solomon Areyenka respectively, assured Governor Uduaghan that the fortune of the party was increasing in the state.
The party passed a vote of confidence on Governor Uduaghan, his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN); Chairman of the PDP in the state, Barr. Peter Nwaoboshi and other leaders of the party at the ceremony.
This was sequel to a motion moved by Chairmen of the PDP in Bomadi Local Government Area, Chief Pius Labo which was seconded by his counterpart from Ughelli North local government area, Chief Shedrach Imonieroh.

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