By Chris Finebone

“….In Rivers State, the opposition exists only on billboards; the state belongs to the PDP. So, allow their billboards to stay. We know the party that is controlling Rivers state….”

- President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Oscar Wilde [1854 – 1900] it was that said: “It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.” That is, if absolution is the objective of the confessor.

But in the case of the confession of President Goodluck Jonathan at the recent PDP rally in Benin, Edo State, the All Progressives Congress [APC] in Rivers State believes that the President's seeming confession was accidental, unintended and, therefore, tainted by mischief which was very glaring in the tone, air and occasion where it was made.

However, it is to the credit of Mr. President that he, by omission, corroborated the long-held view that the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], the President's party, and its militia wings such as the GDI, have been responsible for the sustained vicious war declared against any and every billboard, banner, buntings, flags and sometimes secretariats of the APC across Rivers State. For this singular accidental confession, we thank Mr. President most profoundly.

The Rivers State chapter of the APC would like to disagree with Mr. President, for the umpteenth time, that Rivers State belongs to the PDP. As far as the APC and impassioned observers are concerned, all empirical and anecdotal evidence point to APC overwhelming hold on Rivers State, which retains power across the 23 local governments and controls over 90% of state and national legislators from the state.

With the backdrop of the fortuitous confession by the president and his directive that: “So, allow their billboards to stay,” the APC in Rivers State is wondering, given the Machiavellian modus operandi of the cabal that run the contraption called PDP in Rivers State, whether the directive of Mr. President to his foot soldiers, no matter the dishonest underlying tone, will ever be obeyed. Our quandary is well-founded based on the experience that those who run the PDP in Rivers State have often displayed equal measure of disregard and violence to constituted authorities and individuals outside of the PDP and within the PDP. The recent member-on-member violence that was unleashed on its own members at the Delta Hotel, Port Harcourt quickly comes to mind.

The APC would like to appeal to the security agencies especially the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Security [DSS] to take proper notice of the Presidents confession and directive to ensure that they rein in members of the PDP and their militia wings such as the GDI – buoyed by their ever boastful, roughneck and gangster leader - who are most likely to disobey the directive by Mr. President and continue to vandalise APC billboards, other outdoor signage and party offices in the LGAs across the state. We would like to remind the security agencies to take another look at Nigerian recent history and ensure that they always act professionally and stand on the side of justice, equity and fair play so that they will ultimately end up on the good side of history. It is the constitutional duty of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to provide equal protection of lives and property to all Nigerians irrespective of party affiliation.

Chris Finebone
State Publicity Secretary

October 2, 2014.

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