Barely 24 hours after a crowd of aggrieved youths stormed the Umuahia state secretariat of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, calling for the sack of the State Chairman, Rt. Hon. Asiforo Okere, another crowd, Wednesday, besieged the venue in solidarity with the Chairman.
The group under the aegis of Abia for Better Initiative, during the solidarity march passed a vote of confidence on the Okere-led leadership of the party.
They carried placards bearing various inscriptions such as: “Leave Asiforo alone” ; “He will deliver, Asiforo Okere will lead PDP to victory”; “Propaganda doesn’t win elections”; “Go to work, Asiforo relax, no shaking”; amongst others.
The group urged the state party Chairman to disregard the calls for his sack which they said were being championed by “paid agents whose mission is to destabilise the party”.
Leader of the group, Comrade Amaogu Festus who spoke on behalf of the group, described Okere as a man of peace and a stabilising force.
He assured him of the full support of the party faithful across the state, and urging him not to succumb to intimidation by those who want to hijack the party leadership.
Responding, Okere said he was not moved “because such things are bound to happen in democracy”, adding that the people who staged the earlier protest were misinformed.
Okere said that “the PDP EXCO is united as a team to take the party to victory come 2023 as well as working tirelessly to recover all the lost political positions for the party in Abia State”.
He also said that ” the State Working Committee of PDP is working in synergy with the leader of the party, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu”, and assured that “the party is in safe hands and not divided as speculated”.
The State Executive Committee of the party, has also dismissed the protest, petitions, and calls for the sack of the State Chairman as ” spurious and laughable”.
In a statement signed by the 47 members of the Committee, the party leadership said that the signatories to the petitions were faceless, adding that their claims are “baseless and unfounded.”
The statement denied the allegation that the state Chairman had secretly sold nomination forms to his preferred candidates.
It also dismissed as false, the allegation that the state Chairman had sent somebody to the national headquarters of the party to collect materials for the delegate election.
The statement further absolved Okere of any wrongdoing in the zoning of the governorship ticket of the party to Abia Central and Abia North districts simultaneously, saying it was the collective decision of members of the SWC.
Some of the signatories to the statement were the Deputy Chairman of the party, Chief Obinna Nwachukwu; State Secretary of PDP, David Iro; Finance Secretary, Chinyere Onuoha; Deputy Chairman, Abia North, Elder Amah Abraham, among others.