Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) still exists today, because of the investment and commitment of South South members and leaders of the party.
Wike spoke yesterday at the PDP zonal congress in Port Harcourt.
He urged the PDP members from other zones to thank leaders and members of the party from the South South, for their commitment to the survival of the party.
He said: “If PDP leaders and members from the South South are not committed, there wouldn’t have been PDP today.
“It is important that PDP members from other zones of the country congratulate South South PDP members for their steadfastness at a time PDP was in crisis”.
He urged PDP members from the South South to remain resolute in their support for the growth of the party.
“We are going as a family and we will continue to work as a family. We will not allow any external force to divide the South South,” he said.
On his part, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson said: “We are in trying times. We are in opposition, facing a fierce and ruthless government at the federal level. This is a time the governors need your support.”
Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said for the stability of PDP, it was necessary for the next chairman to come from the South South.
“It is important we stabilise the PDP. That is why we need a chairman of PDP from the South South,” he said.
Former External Affairs minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, said the PDP cannot afford to allow the South West produce the chairman because the zone “is prone to crisis.”
National Vice Chairman of PDP, South South, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, said South South would work with other zones to strengthen the party.
The congress attracted PDP leaders from the six states of the zone.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has given 16 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to elected members of the National Assembly from the state.
Three of the vehicles were for senators representing the state, while 13 were for members of the House of Representatives.
Members of the House of Representatives, led by Mrs Betty Apiafi, leader, Rivers Caucus, and Barry Mpigi, deputy leader, took possession of the vehicles.
Making the presentation at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said the vehicles were acquired to aid the lawmakers in the discharge of their official functions.
He said the vehicles were for all members of the National Assembly irrespective of their party affiliations.
In another development, Governor Wike has urged the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) to continue to advocate justice, equity and righteousness.
Wike stated this yesterday, during an end-of-year revival and banquet of the state chapter of PFN at the Royal House of Grace International Church in Port Harcourt, where he was conferred with the Theophilus Award.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, urged ministers of God to pray for the state government to continue to rest on the shoulders of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Wike said his administration was committed to supporting the clergy to ensure that the gospel remains vibrant.
He stressed that a board of trustee would to be set up to manage the funds meant to support ministers of God serving in rural areas, in a bid to take the gospel to every nook and cranny of the state.
Thanking the PFN for finding him worthy to receive the Theophilus Award, Wike reiterated his administration’s commitment to implement Christian pilgrimage and also promised to complete the PFN secretariat in D/Line, which was started by former military governor, Dauda Musa Komo.
He said: “Defend the interest of the state wherever you are. This is from the Government of Rivers State, which you are part of. This is to aid you to carry out your official functions in Abuja.”
Responding, Apiafi thanked the governor for providing the support for members of the National Assembly to carry out their duties. Also, Mpigi commended Wike for reaching out to all Rivers people.
In his remarks, Pastor David Ibiyeomie urged clerics to demonstrate their love for God by investing in kingdom activities, noting that the Almighty God demonstrated His love for mankind by giving His only begotten son to die for the salvation of man.
In his address, PFN state Chairman, Apostle Zilly Aggrey, expressed the need for Christians to focus on the spirit and how to save lost souls.
He thanked Governor Wike for his contributions and love towards the church of Christ and noted that the PFN conferred the Theophilus Award on the governor in recognition of his friendliness to the fellowship and commitment to God’s work.