From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Desmond Akawor, has emerged the new Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State.
Ambassador Akawor was elected by PDP Delegates during the PDP State Elective Congress at the Obi Wali Cultural Centre in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
The party New Working Committee in the state will assume office in May 2020, when the second term of Bro Felix Obuah comes to an end.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, National and State Assembly members joined other party delegates voted at the State Elective Congress.
The Rivers State PDP Congress was marked by strict observation of the coronavirus medical preventive measures, as medics were on ground to run temperature checks on delegates as well as apply hand sanitizers on them. For now, Rivers State has no confirmed case of coronavirus.
The accreditation of delegates and the voting process for all the officials of the new State Executive Committee went on peacefully. The Ward and Local Government Congresses were also conducted across the State without rancour.
In a remark, Outgoing Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah thanked the Rivers State Governor for his support that helped the party to be successful in the last six years.
He said that PDP enjoys unprecedented internal party democracy because of the leadership provided by Governor Wike. He said the strength of party is exemplified .
Chairman of Rivers State PDP Elective Congress Panel, Senator Sam Anyanwu said that 39 Party positions were listed, with 39 officials picking forms for each of the post. The entire 39 officials were elected unopposed.
Senator Anyanwu announced that that Ambassador Desmond Akawor polled 2908 to emerge victorious as the Rivers State PDP Chairman.
Until his election as Rivers State PDP Chairman, he has been the Administrator, Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) .
Other officers elected at the State Elective Congress are: Mr Chukwuemeka Aaron, Deputy Chairman and Secretary , Benibo George, Financial Secretary, Shedrach Chukwu, Publicity Secretary, Sydney Gbarah, State Legal Adviser, Barr Kingsley Chukwu and State Woman Leader, Mrs Miriam Ogbonna.
Others are: State Youth Leader, Ikpechi Oriji, , Assistant Youth Leader, Mrs Joy Oyaghiri-Fagbemi, State Auditor, Philip Onyeche, State Treasurer, Barrister Blessing Amadi and State Organising Secretary, Kagbang Offis.
In his acceptance speech, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor commended the Rivers State Governor for creating the platform for peaceful congress in the state.
He described Governor Wike as a worthy ambassador of the PDP through his superlative performance since 2015.
He assured that members of the new Rivers State Working Committee will serve the party and lead it to greater achievement, adding that they will always stand by Governor Wike throughout his administration.
The Governor in his remarks, praised the outgoing Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah for his commitment to the growth of PDP and his total loyalty to the leadership in the state.
He recalled that when the struggle to win back Rivers State started in 2013, a decision was made to elect Bro Felix Obuah because of his pedigree.
“We concluded that Bro Felix Obuah will not sell out. He stood firm, despite all temptations. Since he became chairman, he has never wavered. He has never sabotaged the State Government and the party.
“If it was constitutionally possible for anyone to stay, we would have allowed Felix Obuah to stay. It was going to be difficult to replace Obuah,” he said..
The Rivers State PDP Elective Congress was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as represented by Emmanuel Wonke HOD EPM, Representative of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Don Umealor, HOD Legal, INEC, as well as officials from the PDP national headquarters