No fewer than nine persons were injured when disagreement broke out at a meeting of the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The meeting was organised by some faithful of the opposition party in the state to discuss the zoning of the governorship position ahead of the February election.
The incumbent, Rotimi Amaechi, an Ikwerre will round off his eight-year tenure in May next year. There have however been agitations for the governorship slot to be zoned elsewhere particularly the Kalabari area of the state while the supporters of the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, who is also an Ikwerre are resisting the move.
The meeting held at Delta Hotel in the Old Government Reservation Area, GRA, was temporarily disrupted when the minister’s supporters arrived the venue at about 12.30 pm.
The opposition groups on the matter did not only engage in verbal punches, but also threw chairs at themselves.
Police later arrived at the venue to restore peace.
Some members, under the aegis of Concerned Rivers State PDP Stakeholders, at a press conference, demanded the dissolution of the state working committee of the party headed by Felix Obuah.
Israel Owate, the spokesman of the group, said the state chapter, led by Mr. Obuah, had been docile and that the situation made some of the members of the party to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“The Rivers State PDP has been run unconstitutionally by only a two-man executive, a situation which has made the party a limited liability company of those who claimed they incorporated it in the Abuja High Court,” Mr. Owate said.
“The running of Rivers State PDP by a two-man executive has adversely affected and disrupted the functioning of the party at the ward, local government senatorial district and state levels.
“The party does not have a proper membership register and does not have legitimate and properly constituted party officers at the various levels. This is because the PDP officers that defected with Governor Rotimi Amachi took with them PDP membership registers and confiscated some.”