Rivers Re-run: When Two Captains In Same Ship Set Sail In Opposite Directions
The bestiality, foolery, buffoonery that has characterized the actions of Governor Nyesom Wike and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi in the Rivers state re-run is simply a contest of ego measurement. The womb of destruction in that state is therefore a function of the delusionary objectives of the two gladiators, which sadly is not people based but selfish, vindictive and asinine.
As usual, the human collateral damage cannot be avoided. The slow but growing turnover of human lives for a “mere” re-run only shows how desperate politicians can be and how gullible some electorates can go on errands for their paymasters. While the innocent or sometime apolitical victims are taken in their prime, followers of this two ego-measuring gladiators must realize that they are the puns in some macabre political chess game.
Interestingly, this is the first time in the past 17 years Rivers state will be divided along party lines. The state has always been a one party state with uniformity of votes once candidates are selected by an established godfather. It is even believed that despite the irregularities, human carnage that has marred elections in the state since 2015 general election to the re-run, it is adjudged the best when measured against actual votes cast and the decision of the people to ensure that their votes are counted.
Nigerians however have conflicting views in the Rivers debacle. Some blame it on Buhari, some on the ruling party the All Progressive Congress (APC), some on one or all the gladiators, some on INEC, some on the Peoples Democratic Party. While every Nigerian has the right to place blame wherever, it is important to exclude the president out of the entire fiasco if the crisis in Rivers state must avoid the trappings of wailing, wailers and hailing, hailers.
What makes the battle ground in Rivers state a deadly razor edge dance is the quantum of firearms, propensity to spill blood and level of competence of the two gladiators in manipulating results during elections. We must not for one second forget that Amaechi and Wike have student, lecturer relationship from an institution established on impunity. Their core subject is political brigandage, criminal rascality with electives in killing, maiming and arson.
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has played it well in the volatile elections in Rivers state. Declaring results of some areas inconclusive was indeed in the best interest of all. Reading the results as they came in was indeed bravery of the highest order. INEC has refused to shift result in favor of a political party of their choice, hence allowing all the stakeholders to slog it out in supplementary. In the not too distant past, the PDP government would have done differently.
Nobody is calling on the ruling party to awaken the monster of denying Nigerians their votes, and that is the reason why those chiding INEC must see the good in each instance elections are declared inconclusive. After all, INEC isn't responsible for the unnecessary violence that usually characterize the “do-or-die” election mantra of Nigerian politicians.
For Amaechi and Wike, this election is indeed worth dying for. As earlier mentioned, ego is a prime motivating factor. But protection of political interest is also another factor. For Amaechi, getting all the NASS members on his leash will help diminish the political influence and sometime affluence of the incumbent governor. For Wike, he has to protect his territory. He must prevent a single APC politician from getting to the coveted legislative position. he is aware of the repercussion once his party the PDP loses out of the on going saber-rattling.
With the “looming” supplementary, there is no telling what would happen to the hapless Rivers people and the hired political thugs. With the amount of weapons in the hands of the wrong people in that state, it is indeed expected that supplementary for eight (8) local governments might be the match that would ignite cyclical killings in that state. The worst violence is that which exists between people in a defined social political environment. They know themselves and can predict themselves, hence guerrilla attacks, kidnappings will become a trend.
Buhari might just be the solution to the dance of desperation going on between Amaechi and Wike. Once the two gladiators are charged with liability of any unruly conduct along party lines, they will adjust a bit. For now, they act like untamed horses charging in different directions trying to claim political territory with human lives as bargaining chip.
A clarion call goes to youths of Rivers states, nah, Nigeria youths. It is time Nigerian youths understand that they are not mere tools in the hands of politicians. It is time they realize they are future of Nigeria's human capital. Their paymasters have rubbed them of education, denied them of social amenities, only to present them with stipends barely enough to buy them more than a meal.
It is time for Nigerian youths to understand that while they fight for their self-based political masters, children of these prebendal politicians are taking up juicy jobs, groomed to take over from their parents. While the circle for the politicians is an emerging monarchical democracy where fathers bequeath the political assets to their children and children, children, the thugs used for violence are programmed as expendables and their children left in despondency only to toe the lines of their fathers.
The carnage in Rivers state must stop. Humanity has stooped like a beast devouring every ounce of civility. Nigeria has transcended beyond this type of politicking. Humanity is far more superior to bestiality. While every other factor is consistent with the high rate of madness in that place, this is the time we must stand up against politics of violence, politics of bitterness.
Written by Israel A. Ebije.