Four cabinet members in the Rivers State Government have reportedly resigned their appointments to contest in the 2023 governorship election.
Though there was no official statement confirming their resignations, it is believed that they resigned in order to beat the clause in the Electoral Act, 2022 which says political appointees must vacate office to be eligible to participate in party primaries.
Those who resigned are the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo; the Commissioner for Finance, Isaac Kamalu; Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye; and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, George Kelly.
A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Okpara; former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo; former state PDP chairman, Felix Obuah; and others have picked the party’s nomination forms to contest in next year’s governorship election in the state, The PUNCH has leant.
The others are Senator George Sekibo, Senator Olaka Wogu, David Briggs, Senator Lee Maeba, Asimilaye Fubara and Farah Dagogo.
Meanwhile, about 40 House of Assembly aspirants under the PDP have accused the party leadership of denying them intent and nomination forms after payment.
The aspirants, who protested in front of the state PDP secretariat located on Aba Road, Port Harcourt, expressed sadness that the party could treat them with disdain after paying for the forms.
One of the aspirants from Emuoha Local Government Area, Kinikanwo Ogbu, said, “We are all law-abiding members of the PDP in Rivers State. What we are holding is our bank drafts which we have paid into the party coffers to obtain our intent and nomination forms.
“But on getting here (party secretariat) this morning, we could not find any party officer to do the needful for us to get our forms. We are worried because the closing date for the purchase of forms is less than 24 hours and today, we cannot find any party official.”
But the state spokesman of the party, Sydney Gbara, said those protesting were not known to the party, and challenged them to present proofs of their payment.
“We don’t know whether they are PDP members because they didn’t pay any money to the state PDP account to get the intent and nomination forms in the state assembly. The party has a procedure. So, if they have proof of that procedure, they can show it to the public,” he stated.