The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-South zone on Saturday, elected its new 16-member executive body at the zonal congress of the party, held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Saturday.
The process was rancour-free as the new executive, who were all consensus candidates, were voted for by 574 delegates from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Edo and Edo, the six states constituting the zone.
The congress panel was headed by Mr Owoseni Ajayi, Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and other members, including Honourable Chuma Nnaji (Secretary); Mr Ferdinard Ibetimi; Mr Kola Kolade; Mr Babade Ige; and Chief (Mrs) Tosin Aluko.
However, conspicuously absent at the congress were leaders of the party, including former President Goodluck Jonathan as well as former governors from the South-South zone.
The sitting governors in the zone; (except that of Edo which is controlled by the All Progressives Congress, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ben Ayade (Cross Rivers), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Udo Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), were present.
Speaking, former Akwa Ibom State governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the congress and the peaceful voting process presented another opportunity for the party to correct the noticeable lapses that led to its lost of power at the federal level in the 2015 elections.
He described PDP as a caring party which pampered Nigerians with love for 16 years, adding that the people, now experiencing pains under the present Federal Government, were clamouring for the return of the party to power.
Also speaking on behalf of his colleague-governors, Governor Wike reiterated that the South-South zone was for PDP, assuring that everything humanly possible would be done by the party to retain the zone.
He told party members and supporters not to bother about what he described as “rantings of anybody”, adding that PDP remained the most formidable party in the country and that, that explained why many people wanted to join it.
Also speaking after emerging as the new PDP zonal chairman, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi (from Delta State) assured that aggrieved founding members of the party would be reconciled in an effort to reposition it for the 2019 elections.
He declared that PDP would return back to power in 2019, describing APC as party that had somersaulted several times and would therefore the rejected by the people at the poll.