By Onome Oghenetega
Amidst the growing anxiety over the spread of the Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19, the Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it’s going ahead with its planned state congress billed for Tuesday March 24, 2020 in Asaba, the state capital.
The federal government has announced the reduction in public gatherings following the spread of the disease where Nigeria has recorded 36 cases as at on Monday.
According to a circular signed by Chief Onoriode Sunday, the party directs all delegates to attend the congress holding at Cenotaph, Asaba.
Chief Onoriode, according to the statement obtained by NIGER DELTA TODAY Online, the congress will begin by 10:00am .
The circular read, “Dear Delegate, I am directed to invite you to the 2020 State Congress holding at the Cenotaph, Asaba. Date. Tuesday 24/3/2020 Time. 10:00 am. Thanks for your usual cooperation and safe journey as you come. Chief Onoriode Sunday. SOS.”
However, some stalwarts of the party have condemned the decision of the leadership of the party to continue with the congress despite government directive to reduce public gathering as parts of measures to curtail the spread of the disease.
A chieftain of the party who spoke on condition of anyonmity called on the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to order the immediate suspension of the state congress billed for tomorrow Tuesday.
Also, a top security chief in the state told our correspondent that, “Must the congress hold? Why the hurry? Are these people in tune with the global trend? And what is the governor saying in all this. This is sad. The congress should be stopped now that a case of the COVID-19 had been discovered in neighbouring Edo State.”
A source at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also condemned why the state PDP bend on conducting the congress in spite of the tension being caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.
Efforts to speak with the State Chairman of the party, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso, over the development proved abortive as at the time of filing this report on Monday as repeated calls to his telephone line were not connecting.