DANGERS OF WIKE'S CANDIDATURE
It is only the blind that cannot see the handwriting on the wall, but with modern technology, the blind can read. Nonetheless, this is not with the inharmonious candidate of the Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike. He does not want to read nor see the ignominious handwriting that even his party fellows are showing him on the wall, where he is head bent on and desperate, believing that he is the next governor of Rivers State, after the tenure of Governor Chibuike Amaechi expires in May.
One of the handwritings on the wall against Wike is that the PDP in the state is divided, with many stakeholders holding the viewpoint that Wike is running the affairs of the party with the state's party chairman, Brother Felix Obuah, like garrison commanders: They do not want true reconciliation with these separated party fellows. Listening to comments by some PDP stalwarts on the Rhythm FM, Port Harcourt conversation, Saturday, January 10 2015, anchored by the sonorous Segun Owolobi, attested to the fact that all are not well with the PDP in Rivers; all because of Wike.
With that, it is obvious that many party men and women would work against Wike in the February 28 governorship election, hence making viable the boast by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state that even with the endorsement of Wike by Mrs. Patience Jonathan, the former would not get up to 10 percent votes in the election.
Much as Wike has been widely fingered to have emerged the candidate of the PDP in the state through spurious maneuvers, which led to 16 contestants in the party to cry foul, Wike is closing his relationship with many party faithful, who could have stood for him than some yesmen he has been voyaging to the nooks and crannies of the state to campaign with. Apart from the fact that the train which delivered him as the PDP candidate in Rivers State is uncertain, he may have killed his political career on arrival with his loquacious tendencies and instigation of fears into the veins of the residents through his unguided and unedited statements.
One of the fears among the people is that if Wike could be brazenly boastful on February 21 2014, at the handover and inauguration of the PDP buses to 23 Local government Areas in the state, saying that the Rivers State governor would be arrested after the declaration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as the reelected president of Nigeria in 2015, then the fate of the 'common' Rivers residents under the stewardship of Wike is terrifying. He might decide to pocket all of us because his 'godfather' in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan has won.
We could remember the insubordinate stance and stand of Wike when the “controversial police commissioner” then called Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu was in Rivers State. Where and whenever there was political ceasefire, Wike as then supervising Minister of Education, would do everything to spark the litmus paper and the whole state nearly went aflame. He does not call a hoot to telling a sitting governor that the Port Harcourt International Airport as well as land and sea borders in the state would be shut to prevent Governor Amaechi from fleeing. This is the typical Wike who sees himself as the next governor of Rivers State.
In that highlight, Wike who was not an accountant and was never an auditor was quick to apparently reference the approval given by the State House of Assembly for the governor to withdraw the sum of N30bn from the State Reserve Fund, saying, “They can sit in Government House and approve whatever amount of money they like for Governor Amaechi to spend. But let me tell you all now, Governor Amaechi and his friends will account for all the monies that they are appropriating and spending now.”
Adding, Wike said, “Once the Independent National Electoral Commission announces the victory of President Jonathan, we will immediately shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport and all land and sea borders in Rivers State to prevent Governor Amaechi from escaping. Does he (Amaechi) think we don't know that he is planning to run away? But he and his cohorts will not succeed.
“All they can do thereafter is to lock themselves inside the Government House and at the appropriate time, we will go there and pick them up one after the other. Believe me; Governor Amaechi will surely account for all our monies that he is frittering away now. We will not allow the looters of our treasury to run away from justice.”
That was the archetypal Wike for you; a man who believes that the much a man talks like a dramatist he is, the more he receives accolades. But this is not true. If Wike could insult the governor of his state the way he had done where he was seeking for favour from the Jonathans and yet was pretending to be fighting their cause, then the providence of the residents would be problematic under his leadership.
Many of us had thought that Wike was a saint when he said that “Amaechi is afraid. We will not beg him. Why is Amaechi afraid of everybody? He is afraid that the Speaker of the House of Assembly will betray him; he is afraid that the Chief Judge recommended by the National Judicial Council will betray him. Why is Amaechi afraid of everybody? When did Amaechi become an oracle or priest that everybody will now make an appearance (before) to swear?” But what played out in the primary election of the Rivers PDP on December 8 2014 has shown that Wike was the most fearful human being on earth. If he was not, he could have made provision for the now 16 aggrieved party men and women to contest in that election alongside with him.
If truth be told, Wike's emergence as Rivers PDP flagbearer has been rejected by those who matter in the PDP in the state, except for the light featherweights in the party, like the chairman. Many Rivers people have seen his candidature as a continuation of the party's war against the state. For example, the state APC chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, on December 9, 2014, not up to two days that Wike was said to have become the PDP candidate, dismissed the candidature of Wike as an imposition. Ikanya even 'pitied' the PDP, saying that the process that led to Wike's emergence will cause ripples in the PDP. And here is the party today!
In Ikanya's words, “We have watched with amusement the macabre dance by the PDP and its leadership which culminated in the imposition of Chief Nyesom Wike as the party's flag-bearer for the 2015 gubernatorial election. To us, the emergence of the cantankerous and disreputable Wike means an easy victory for us as he cannot in any way be compared with our candidate, the very reputable and visionary Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside. The battle is now between the Rivers State people and the forces of darkness which the PDP represents.”
Ikanya affirmed, that Wike could emerge after the alarm unitedly raised by the 16 other PDP aspirants that were duped of their hard-earned money – as the outcome of the process had already been determined by forces whose hatred for Rivers State is legendary – speaks volumes about the extent to which the Presidency and the PDP national leadership are prepared to go to humiliate the good people of Rivers State.
Ikanya asked, what is more? For President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP leadership to disregard the warning and pleas by Rivers State Elders such as Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, Chief A.K. Horsfall and Jonathan's own ethnic Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on the dangers of Wike's candidature portends to the peace, progress and unity of Rivers State simply demonstrates the level of disdain and scorn that the Presidency and PDP leadership have for Rivers State and her people.
Written by Odimegwu Onwumere.
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