DON'T MIND THEM: IT'S WIKE OR WIKE
The events of the last few days regarding the political situation in Rivers State were expected in view of the body language of those bent on circumventing the will of the people.
If anyone was in doubt, the Bayelsa situation cleared such doubts. The political vultures are out in full swing with the regrettable backing of Federal authorities to steal from the people their priceless possession – the power to choose their leaders.
Right from the days of the Election Tribunal, the intention was clear. The ugly desire to use institutions of state to pounce on the people of Rivers State, intimidate them and snatch from their hands the power to lead themselves, with the overall motive of handling same to criminal saboteurs and traitors, masquerading as politicians.
On this premise, the Federal Government handed over to the Rivers State APC the command structures of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, to testify at the various election tribunals.
Therefore, with full command compliments, these security operatives told the respective tribunals that the had the authority of their high commands to testify against the Rivers PDP. This was the first time the integrity of the Nigerian Security Forces would be so wantonly raped on the altar of desperation to abduct the governance structure of Rivers State.
When Rivers State PDP subpoenaed the officers who commanded personnel to conduct the general elections in the state to testify at the tribunals, the top hierarchy of the security forces raided the courts to arrest. The episodes were light nightmares refusing to go away even when the victim was wide awake.
The tribunals at the end of the day, upheld the elections of all three Rivers State Senators and eleven of the 13 House of Representatives Federal Constituencies in the state. Only two were nullified at the time.
However, the Court of Appeal has done the bidding of those bent on arm-twisting the people of Rivers State. At the last count, all three Rivers State senators lost their seats in very disturbing circumstances. The Appeal Court went back to the issue of card reader accreditation, already condemned nationally. The Appeal Court deliberately forgot that it had ruled in the matter between Jimi Agbaje vs Ambode Akinwumi that card reader accreditation cannot constitute a ground for the nullification of an election.
For inexplicable reasons, the Appeal Court suffered institutional amnesia. It is quite sad that this has happened to the nation’s judiciary in a changed environment.
Jibrin Sam Okutepa (SAN ) posted the following on his verified Facebook Wall:
“I think with the current way decisions are coming out inconsistently in our our electoral jurisprudence from our courts we are just up for trouble. As lawyers we can no longer give legal opinion.”
I do not know the particular case that inspired the above quotation, but I know that the nation’s judiciary is facing imposed trying times. One is constrained by the fact that it is usually sensitive to point out the frailties of the judiciary, but what is happening is no longer funny.
Recall that the Taraba Governor’s Election was nullified on the strength of alleged non-conduct of primary. Benue State has a similar case, but the election was upheld by the Appeal Court. In fact the funniest is the sack of Senator David Mark. The Kwara PDP cited the similarities of the case in their appeal against Senator Bukola Saraki. The same Appeal Court jettisoned its own position.
So many of such rulings litter the judicial landscape since we transited into a changed environment.
In Rivers State, the people are focused on their political and economic liberties. They will not be moved by the ungodly conspiracies of persons who have little regard for development, accountability and progress.
Here, the people know their leader. For now, they have chosen Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to lead them to recovery and the creation of a new Rivers State. They have no desire to return to the recent past when Rivers State was the ATM of the APC, while civil servants remained unpaid, pensioners neglected, students on foreign scholarships overlooked, projects abandoned and propaganda upgraded.
Those who imagined that Governor Wike emerged through the use of Federal might as Amaechi lied when he failed woefully at the polls should consider the following. How come PDP lost Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Bauchi, Niger and Jigawa, even though these states had PDP governors with supposed Federal backing at that time?
Wike and other elected officials in Rivers State emerged through a transparent and credible process.
In the first instance, 2015 to 2019 is the Wike era in Rivers State. Make no mistakes, it has been ordained by God and endorsed by the people.
As our boys say, Wike is a seed. No matter the situation, he will continue to grow. Nobody, can stop his growth because it is linked to God and the people of Rivers State.
Don’t mind them; for Rivers State, it is Wike or Wike. Let the saboteurs rage, let the ATM lovers imagine stolen funds in their crooked bank accounts, let the propagandists rant, Rivers State will never be kidnapped by the forces of darkness . Emphatically, it’s Wike or Wike.
Written by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.