Posted by By Vincent Ujumadu on
IN what appears to be a way of discouraging factions in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its national secretary Chief Ojo Maduekwe at the weekend cleverly avoided addressing a faction of the party in Abia State which had prepared a red carpet reception for him in Umuahia.
ABIA, OHAFIA— IN what appears to be a way of discouraging factions in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its national secretary Chief Ojo Maduekwe at the weekend cleverly avoided addressing a faction of the party in Abia State which had prepared a red carpet reception for him in Umuahia.
He however cited time constraint as his reason for failing to stop when the mammoth crowd waved at him.
There are two factions of PDP in the state with one faction led by an Abuja-based Abia politicians, while the other faction loyal to governor Kalu is led by Chief Uzodinma Okpara.
The new secretariat of a faction of the party located at No. 32 Ojike lane in Umuahia was hurriedly refurbished to coincide with the reception of the national secretary who, the party officials said, would commission the new office before heading to Ohafia for the reception organized in his honour.
Acting state chairman of the party, Chief Alfredo Awa who waited at the secretariat to receive the national secretary and others coming from Abuja was disappointed when Madukwe’s convoy sped pass the secretariat without stopping.
In fact, by the time Awa eventually arrived Ohafia for the reception which was organized for the national secretary by his friends and associates, the ceremony was almost ending, while other party members who were at the secretariat for the commissioning went home disappointed.
However, Maduekwe while speaking at another reception apologized to those who gathered at the secretariat.
who expected him to address them, explaining that he was unable to stop because the Rivers State Governor was already waiting for him at Ohafia.
He said: ""If I had stopped at Umuahia, one of our friends would not have been here today. Governor Peter Odili had made a promise to me that the only way he could be in Ohafia was if the ceremony would start early because he was attending a wedding in Kogi State. I made that promise because I thought that the ceremony would start by 11.00am and if we had stopped in Umuahia, we would not get to Ohafia by 12.noon.""
According to him ""part of the duty of leadership is sometimes to annoy your friends,"" adding that he did not mean to slight anybody. He also spoke of his preparedness to serve the party with diligence and appealed to members of the party to give him the needed support in order not to let the country down.
""Letting the governors down, letting down all our people who have entrusted so much confidence in me will be disastrous. It is better that such hope was not raised in the first place. Therefore, I beg you, beg you in the name of God to support me fully so that I will not give anybody any cause of change the opinion they had of me before I got this job. This job will not last one day longer if Ojo Madukwe has to be different from the Ojo everybody knows.""
He said that the expectation of everybody is that there should be peace in our land so that the country can have genuine development. ""The hope of the people is that public funds should be used for public purposes, not for personal gains. This hope is that those who we vote for are those who can represent us well and not those whose results are written in Abuja by the party secretariat. It should not be those whose results are written in the offices of the governors, or those whose results are written by those who control the apparatus of decision making,"" he told them.
National chairman of PDP, DR Ahmadu Ali who spoke through the national women leader of the party, Mrs Herbeta Okonofua-Ayu paid glowing tribute to Ojo Maduekwe, noting that he was poised to give PDP a new direction with a view to healing the wounds inflicted on some members in the past.
According to her, PDP owes Nigerians the duty to give them good leadership and urged the people to support the national secretary in carrying out the task ahead. She was however happy that the short period chief Maduekwe has been in office already witnessed a lot of good changes.
Although the reception attracted important personalities including deputy governors of Ebonyi, Plateau and Gombe States as welll as some senators and members of the House of Representatives, the faction loyal to governor Orji Uzor Kalu was conspicuously absent. In fact, the chairman of Ohafia local government had in the morning of the ceremony announced through the state radio that PDP was not involved in the reception.
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