Rivers 2015: Again, Wike's Men Hijack PDP Guber Panel
The immediate past Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike is set to emerge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Rivers State having hijacked the party's overnorship electoral committee for the state.
According to a list of the PDP Electoral Committee published today, the Rivers State governorship committee is headed by Hon. Etifa Bekeakpo, a man Wike had in October 2013 inaugurated chairman of the governing board of Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State.
Bekeakpo, whom PDP saddled with the responsibility of presiding over a “free and fair” primary election involving Wike and other governorship aspirants, had as recently as March begged the people of the state to “rally round him (Wike) as he tackles the enemies of Rivers State.”
The occasion was a civic reception in Omoku organized for Wike's cheerleader party chairman, Mr. Felix Obuah.
According to a list signed by PDP National Organizing Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, Mr. Ferdinand Ibezim is to serve as secretary to the Bekeakpo-led committee.
Bekeakpo and Ibezim served in the notorious screening panel that attempted to disqualify at least 13 governorship aspirants and scores of other aspirants believed to be opposed to Wike's aspiration.
Ibezim is Managing Director/Chief Executive of I-Skills Limited, a firm that enjoyed tremendous patronage from the Federal Ministry of Education under Wike's watch as Supervising Minister.
According to Ibezim's Facebook page, “some of the institutions that have engaged him include: Zenith Bank Plc, First Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Limited, MTN Nigeria Limited, Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Halliburton, NNPC, Total, Sahara Group, ECOWAS (and) Federal Ministry of Education.”
Prior to serving as a member of the screening committee, Ibezim had served as secretary of the PDP Congress Committee appeal panel for the same Rivers State.
He and Wike were reportedly course mates and room mates at the University of Port Harcourt. Both men are more comfortable conversing in pidgin English.
Other members of the PDP committee on Rivers State are Wike's hand-picked state chairman of the party, Obuah and two women, Mrs. Christy Okoi and Mrs. Josephine Anyakwa.
Interestingly, of the 36 state panels, Rivers is the only state that has two female panelists.
Pointblanknews.com had at the outset of the congresses broken the story on how Wike's appointee deputy Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Yakubu Gambo emerged chairman of the panel.
“With Gambo exposed, Wike hurriedly settled for Bekeakpo. But for the expose, Gambo would have featured in all the committees involving his godfather. They are so desperate. Even after doctoring all the delegates' lists, Wike doesn't want to take chances hence he is recycling the same characters in Rivers State,” submitted a PDP chieftain.
Other members of the discredited Gambo panel- Mrs Uzo Nwandu and Mr. Chuks Akwiti have since been moved to Delta and Niger States respectively.
Umuahia, Abia State-born Ibezim is not a known member of the PDP, but has consistently found his way in every committee set up by the party in Rivers State.
“In fact,” submitted an associate of Ibezim, “we all are surprised how he has managed to be part of every committee PDP set up on Rivers State,” stressing, “to be able to pull these stunts, Ferdy (Ibezim) must have powerful connections in Rivers PDP considering he isn't a known fan of the Jonathan administration.”
On November 21, 2014, Ibezim wrote on his facebook wall, “Something is definitely wrong somewhere; somebody with dangerous motives has infiltrated the presidency. I suspect serious fowl (sic) play and if President Jonathan does not act fast, history will not be fair to him.
“How can stopping members of the National Assembly from entering the Assembly complex further the cause of the Presidency? I suspect fifth columnists who are bent of destroying Nigeria. Jonathan will surely not act this way. But the buck stops on his table.
“Even some of us who strongly believe that APC is not a better alternative to the present government is (sic) getting worried with the sudden change in the temperament of the Presidency.
“Is this the way to show the strength he has been accused of lacking? I have always been scared when people kept calling the President weak because he did not apply the OBJ treatment (impeachment of Joshua Dairye (sic), Ayo Fasoye (sic), Ladoja and Alayemsia (sic) with sometimes 4 members of the house sitting in hotels or Abuja) on Rotimi Amechi (sic) and co. He was also accused of removing banana pills from the National Assembly which would have long crashed Tambuwal…” penned Ibezim, concluding, “I think it is already too late for President Jonathan to start modelling (sic) Obasanjo or Buhari.”
Observed a PDP chieftain, “Isn't it a twist of irony that the same 'democrat Ibezim' who condemned the 'sudden change in the temperament of the Presidency' is doing Wike's bidding to shut out contenders for the PDP governorship ticket in Rivers State? ”
Chairman of the governorship panel Ebekeakpo is a well-known bag-boy of the former minister.
In exchange for helping to appoint him board chairman, Bekeakpo relocated to Port Harcourt, running errands for Wike.
Bekeakpo made the long list of cheerleaders who last April trooped to Krisdera Hotel Stadium, Omoku, to commemorate Obuah's appointment as state PDP chairman.
At the event, Obuah was full of praises for Wike, promising the former minister, “we stand by you anytime, any day until you take Rivers State to the Promise Land.”
Also at the event were other Wike bag-boys including a former deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Austin Opara, Chief Sergeant Awuse, Senator Adawari Pepple and Hon. Olaka Wogu.
At the gathering, Bekeakpo, who has been appointed the Rivers State PDP electoral umpire, urged the people of the state to “support” the former minister, not minding if he is upland or riverine.
“We are proud of Wike for his humility and love for President Jonathan, and we urge the people of the state to rally round him as he tackles the enemies of Rivers State. He is a de-tribalised personality and to him there is no upland or riverine,” declared Bekeakpo.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.
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