Loyalists of Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, have emerged chairmanship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) amidst power play that saw other PDP leaders losing out of the party’s primaries.
It was gathered some of the aspirants loyal to the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and former Rivers Governor, Celestine Omehia, failed at the primaries as Wike tightened his grip on the party ahead of 2023 general elections.
It was learnt that Secondus and his cousin, Tele Ikuru, who is also the immediate past deputy governor of Rivers, could not deliver their preferred candidate and incumbent Chairman of Andoni Local Government, Paul Lawrence
Lawrence lost out to Erastus Awortu, another loyalist of Governor Wike.
Also, PDP chairman, Desmond Akawor, failed to secure a second term ticket for his loyalist, Gerald Oforji, the incumbent Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government.
It was gathered the party members were shocked by the unveiling of a former majority leader in the Rivers House Assembly and a three-time member of the House, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, as the chairmanship candidate of Emohua Local Government Area.
Lloyd was reportedly given the ticket to replace the incumbent chairman, Tom Aliezi, who was impeached by his councillors as part of the fulfillment of the promises made to him when he dumped Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Wike and the PDP.
Lloyd was sighted among other PDP chairmanship candidates at the party Secretariat along Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway on February 11.
Though most people wondered why Lloyd condescended to becoming the party’s chairmanship candidate after occupying higher political positions, it was learnt the development was part of Wike’s succession plan.
Also, former Governor Omehia failed to stop the second coming of Samuel Nwanosike, the incumbent Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Council because Wike was disposed to his return.
Though Nwanosike was known as a trusted ally of Wike, his outstanding performance reportedly endeared him to the Governor.
The incumbent chairman of Khana LGA Lahteh Loolo lost the battle to contest as the Commissioner for Special Duties, Thomas Bariere replaced him.
In Wike’s Obio-Akpor Local Government Council, the incumbent Chairman, Ben Abel Ekeh lost the ticket to George Ariolu, a lawyer.
For Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area Chairman, Ifeanyi Odili lost the ticket to Vincent Job Nwaobakata from Omoku.
Also, Confidence Dekoo replaced Paul Kobani on the ballot as PDP’s chairmanship candidate for Gokana while Okpe Friday took over from Jacobson Nbina as the chairmanship candidate of Tai LGA.
But Hope Ikiriko, the incumbent Chairman of Ahoada West, was handed over the ticket of the party for a second term.