The Delta state government has responded sharply to media reports, which alleged that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his Rivers state counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi walked out of the South-South Special Zonal Executive Committee Meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A statement signed by Delta state Commissioner for Information, Barr. Chike Ogeah and made available to Blank NEWS Online on Monday, March 18, 2013 described the said publication as absolutely untrue, saying that the meeting which was called at the instance of the party’s national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga was devoid of any disagreement to elicit a walk.
The Statement Reads:
“The attention of the Delta State Government has been drawn to reports in sections of the press on the outcome of the South-South Special Zonal Executive Committee Meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on Sunday, March 17, 2013 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and presided over by the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
“Some newspapers, notably The Punch, Daily Champion, People’s Daily and Daily Newswatch reported that the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, CON, walked out of the meeting alongside the host governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. This is absolutely untrue.
“On arrival in Port Harcourt, Dr. Uduaghan had informed Alhaji Tukur of his desire to return to Asaba same day. Given that Asaba Airport closes to air traffic by 5pm, the Governor had sought the permission of the chairman to exit the meeting whenever it gets to the threshold of arriving Asaba Airport ahead of its closure to air traffic.
“Alhaji Tukur had graciously agreed to let Governor Uduaghan leave to enable him return to Asaba on time. When eventually it was time to leave for the return flight to Asaba, Dr. Uduaghan again notified the chairman who wished him a safe flight.
“Governor Amaechi, as the host governor, had to see Dr. Uduaghan off.
“At no time was there any disagreement to elicit a walk out by anybody. Alhaji Tukur had conducted the meeting in an atmosphere of candour and camaraderie and before Dr. Uduaghan left the meeting, all the parties present had addressed the meeting.”
The statement further recalled that while “speaking earlier at the meeting, Governor Uduaghan had advised that whatever differences members of the party may have, they should come together in the interest of the party.
“He (Governor Uduaghan) also called on the leadership of the PDP to endeavour to empower its members to engender greater commitment towards strengthening the party.
“He said alongside providing requisite infrastructure and a clement environment for businesses to grow, the leadership should evolve measures to empower the party’s faithful.
“He commended the leadership of the party, especially the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for his commitment to foster unity in the party, observing that the Governors who emerged on the PDP platform in the South South zone were delivering practical dividends of democracy to the people.
“Dr. Uduaghan noted that apart from the provision of infrastructure, it was also important for the electorate to be empowered, asserting that “we are committed to ensuring that the PDP will continue to have its stronghold in the South South”.
“Also speaking on behalf of Chairmen of the PDP in different states in the zone, the Delta State Chairman of the party, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, thanked Alhaji Tukur for playing a fatherly role for the party, noting that the PDP will always emerge victorious in elections.
“The Governor of Delta State is a loyal member of the PDP and holds the office and person of the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Tukur in high esteem.
“We want to assume that the journalists who misrepresented the events may have genuinely misunderstood the early departure of Governor Uduaghan who was accompanied to the airport by Governor Amaechi.
“However, to have reached a serious conclusion as their reports did in stating that the two governors walked out of the meeting required more diligence. It is obvious that no official from any state could have suggested such interpretation to the press as no such thing happened. In effect, it is important that arm chair interpretations must be eschewed by the press in reporting events of national significance.
“As every other political group, the PDP also has challenges to contend with. But has been the hallmark of the party, every issue is always resolved amicably.
“Governor Uduaghan is a leader that has distinguished himself in the exercise of democratic principles and will never engage in acts that do not bind or unite. Besides, a platform was, in the spirit of reconciliation and progress of the party, provided for all to air their views”, the statement dated March 18, 2013 affirmed.