Rivers rerun: Wike flies in Jonathan’s wife
Rivers State Governor, Ezebuwon Nyesom Wike, has flown Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, into the state over for today’s rerun elections in Rivers State. Voters will be going out to elect senators, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly members whose elections were nullified by various Election Petition Tribunals in 2015.
Wike was said to have sneaked Mrs. Jonathan into Port Harcourt late Friday from where she later moved into Okrika. Mrs. Jonathan hails from Okrika but married in Otuoke, Bayelsa State. There were unconfirmed reports that the former First Lady was hired by Wike to use her influence to win the election for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. But how she would achieve the result remained unclear as at the time of this report.
By Saturday morning, Okrika was calm as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, began to distribute materials. The Neighbourhood reporter who is in Okrika confirmed that INEC Adhoc staffers had reported at the rack centres to receive materials for units.
However, there were reports that PDP members were impersonating electoral officials who had yet to report to duty. Arguments ensued between those said to be impersonating and agents of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who noticed the development.
Mrs. Jonathan, who is godmother to Wike, was instrumental to his emergence as PDP governorship candidate amidst stiff opposition by members of the party in Rivers State. She was linked to the unbriddled violence that engulfed Rivers State during the 2015 general elections, but particularly the governorship. Her loyalists had ensured APC never held any campaign in Okrika. Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, APC governorship candidate escaped death by Provdence on the day of his campaign when heavily-armed gunmen attacked his campaign train in Okrika. Some security operatives, however, lost their lives during the attack.
On election, there were reported deaths as PDP armed militia attacked APC members with one having his genital chopped off before being tied to heavy objects. He was later thrown alive into the river where he drowned.