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The lead singer of the Salvation Gospel Band very early in the day summed up the direction of the Grassroot Development Initiative, GDI, grand finale and reception in honour of Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike on Saturday, August 3 at the Rumueme Kingdom Civic Centre in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. In Pidgin English he sang; “Jonathan; no mind dem o, no mind o, who can battle with the Lord, Holy Spirit is in charge”.

All through the development centred rally, it was this theme that reverberated as Rivers State political leaders and followers poured out in their thousands to insist that they have no option but to continue with their support of President Goodluck Jonathan because of the development programmes that he has put on the table for them.

Their open declaration of support for the President less than two years to 2015 is borne out of the fact that the opponents of the President themselves are not sleeping, sowing negative seeds in the minds of ardent supporters of the President spread across the country. Generally, they work towards pulling down the solid support base of the President, but unleash their well oiled propaganda machinery, weeping as it were, at the media rooftop when supporters of the President unveil his numerous achievements, aimed at exposing the deceit of these anti-Jonathan politicians.

Quite intriguing is the fact that on the same day, a sponsored interview was aired on national television, where the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi told the nation several reasons why he believes that the President’s re-election will have hiccups. He counted governors who have issues with the President’s handling of political issues in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Such political posturing, attempting to portray the Rivers people as divided on the issue of their support for the President was what the leaders and the masses trooped out in their thousands to decry.

The GDI rally was attended by members of the National Assembly, members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, members of the State Executive of the PDP, traditional rulers, women and youth groups, former council chairmen, former commissioners and former legislators. The message was clear; the Rivers people are with the President and his wife, Dame Patience, who is their daughter.

Indeed, the huge support base of the President was centred on his superlative performance in terms of delivery to the people of the state. In the education sector, Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike took his time to highlight the projects of the President. He had an exhibition of transformational projects executed in President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku, Community Model Secondary School, Rumuepirikom, Faculty of Law Building, University of Port Harcourt, Lecture Theatre, Ignatius Ajuru University, Rumuolumini. Office Complex, River State Polytechnic, Bori, and e-libraries at Federal Government Girls College, Abuluoma and Federal Government College, Port Harcourt.

Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike called on the people of Rivers State to fully support President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience to continue with the exemplary transformation of the state, pointing out that the state cannot afford to jettison the position of a serving President for any other position in the country.

Barr. Wike urged the People of Rivers State to be attentive and throw their weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan, whenever he decides to seek a second term in office, because he deserves it.

He said: “Continue to support President Jonathan, he is our son and his wife is our daughter. We cannot abandon our son. The people of South-South cannot sacrifice our son for anything less than the President”.

On the political situation in Rivers State, Barr. Wike stated that the use of the state resources to fight the ordinary people will not change the course of events, as the people are interested in political emancipation. He urged the political gladiators on the part of the Rivers State Government to be courageous enough to accept the olive branch offered by the Rivers Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chairman and plead for genuine reconciliation.

He stated that despite the sponsored media attack on his person by the state government, it is now obvious that whilst he served in the administration, he used his political influence and experience to attract national and state stability, while since he left, the centre could no longer hold because of the lack of political experience in the state government’s team.

According to Wike: “Money cannot solve all problems. Sometimes you have to come back home and realize that the people matter. We must say here that we are not interested in who becomes the State Police Commissioner, but we are committed to who will be impartial and create the right environment for democracy to thrive. They are calling for the removal of the commissioner because they are looking out for a police commissioner who will do their bidding and effect indiscriminate arrest of innocent people”.

National President of GDI, Bright Amewhule believes that with over 30,000 registered members all over the nooks and crannies of Rivers State, the group is committed to further expanding the support base of President Jonathan and Barr. Wike in all the communities of the state. He said mobilization will continue at all fronts because the people are feeling the impact of the President’s projects through the loyalty and support of the Minister of State for Education.

A projects analyst and former council chairman of Emohua LGA in Rivers State, Engr Emeka Woke noted that aside the education sector where Barr. Wike showcased the developmental projects of the President, several milestones have been recorded in terms of key projects by NDDC, the Niger Delta Ministry, the Works Ministry and the Aviation Ministry. He said that these projects have impacted positively on the economy of Rivers State and the lives of her people.

In Rivers State like the rest of the South-South geo-political zone, the people are determined to ensure that their support for President Jonathan remains constant and is not negatively affected by the tyranny of the vociferous microscopic minority who believe that they have the freedom to canvass their own ideas in the political and social market-place, while the vast majority of President Jonathan’s supporters are denied same freedom.

Regrettably, political opposition elements who claim to be in pursuit of democracy try hard to emasculate the voice of the majority in the political marketplace. How this can be achieved remains to be seen.

Written By Simeon Nwakaudu,

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