By Ushang Ewa
The local government caucuses of the PDP in the Northern and Central senatorial districts have begun preparations for the forthcoming congresses of the party with the Northern caucus endorsing incumbent governor Ben Ayade for a second term trusted sources told CrossRiverWatch.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered from reliable sources that Ayade is planning a retreat with appointees from the rank of Special Assistant and party executives to hold from Sunday to Thursday next week at the Obudu cattle ranch resort with key decisions to be finalized at the retreat.
The endorsement of the governor, it is learnt first started as whispers and developed on Tuesday when he met with the caucuses of the local government areas in the northern and central senatorial districts where sources said the governor disclosed plans for the upcoming party elections to them.
CrossRiverWatch Government House Correspondent, Jonathan Ugbal also reports that the meeting continued Wednesday where the caucus of the local governments in the Southern senatorial district met with the governor with the party congresses suspected to be the key item in the agenda discussed.
Another government official who was at the northern caucus meeting told CrossRiverWatch that, “the party’s Chairmanship position in the state which was supposed to now go to the northern senatorial district might likely be zoned to the central, Ugep in particular, this time instead of the north since the governor hails from that senatorial district and his Deputy from the South.”
This, the source said will help in dividing the Ugep people in the Central senatorial district and ensure the governor’s popularity does not wane especially in Yakurr where the opposition APC is waxing stronger since the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, the Chief of Naval Staff and a member of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Clement Ebri, hail from that local government.
Our source added that, after the governor’s explanation to members of the northern caucus, it was unanimously agreed that if that strategy will enhance the electoral fortunes of the governor in the central in his second term bid, there should be no opposition to the plan. Consequently, the plan was adopted by the caucus.
The closed door meeting which was carefully guarded to ensure information does not go out also had the press barred from covering proceedings.
The three senatorial caucuses meetings have all been well attended by aides and party excos from the various districts.
Meanwhile, the retreat at the Obudu Ranch Resort, CrossRiverWatch gathered will be to finalize and ratify the sharing of other positions and prepare for the national convention of the party as well as political structures to strengthen the party in the state.
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