A WORD FOR THE WISE AJIMOGOBIA (SAN)
Several stories of the subtle moves by 16 governorship aspirants under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to stop the people's choice Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike from going ahead with his governorship aspiration endorsed by the people of Rivers State have been in all media platforms and the rumour mill.
These aspirants have churned out several false stories and have consulted several political leaders across Nigeria. They have met practically all key power brokers in the country, just to get the people's choice to step down, but to no avail. Wherever they went, they were told clearly- go and slug it out with Barrister Wike in a democratic setting. The PDP respects internal democracy and the will of the members, expressed through the delegates must prevail.
This game being played by the self styled governorship aspirants have continued unabated. We have lost count of the number of press conferences they addressed in Abuja and Lagos. We cannot remember the number of appearances they made on the TV and Radio across the nation. Nobody can give an accurate account of the number of sponsored false stories they paid bloggers, traditional journalists and internet newspapers to circulate against Barrister Wike.
But there is one thing that we know. They made no attempt to reach out to Rivers PDP leaders, members or delegates. They held the party in disdain, disregarding the ward congresses organised by the National Secretariat of the party and thereafter making mockery of the delegates who emerged therefrom.
Rather than consult with Rivers PDP leaders, they prefer to consult other leaders with no influence on the people. Yet they claim they want the party's flag to lead PDP in an epic battle to uproot a Pharaoh who has no knowledge of Joseph.
I am addressing Odein Ajomogobia because he has finally removed his veil in a last ditch effort to truncate the will of the members of the Rivers PDP. I know that this venture is already a failure, but to the non-indigene of Rivers State who has taken him seriously, some key issues must be raised.
The plank of Ajimogobia's petition to the National Secretariat of the PDP and his suit in the Federal High Court, Abuja is that PDP should disqualify Barrister Wike on the altar of zoning. He concluded that on no account should Wike be allowed to contest the primary. This broken record has been played consistently since the race started.
To begin with, Barrister Wike has not contravened the Nigerian Constitution by agreeing to exercise his constitutional right after Rivers people from all over the state –riverine and upland bought the PDP governorship and expression of interest forms for him and prevailed on him to run. Prominent Rivers indigenes like Senator Adewari Pepple, Minister of Sports, Dr Danagogo, Former Rivers Finance Commissioner, Chief Kenneth Kobani, Former Works Commissioner, Alabo David Briggs, former UBA Chairman, Chief Ferdinand Anabrabra, NDDC Finance Director, Dr Henry Ogiri, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Chibodum Nwuche, former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Chief Austin Opara, all PDP elected serving House of Representatives members from Rivers State and all PDP elected members of the House of Assembly members teamed up to ask Barrister Wike to use his political dexterity to outwit the Pharaoh.
Where was Mr Ajimogobia when the Rivers State PDP caucus of the House of Representatives in paid advertisements published in prominent national dailies asked Barrister Wike to resign his position as Minister of State for Education and take up the fight to ensure that PDP reclaims Rivers State in 2015.
Mr Ajimogobia has been cleared to contest the PDP Governorship primary. Let him exercise his political strength against that of Barrister Wike. At this juncture in the political history of Rivers State, playing the Ostrich is no longer tenable.
Like Chief Ferdinand Anabrabra said when Barrister Wike presented his clearance certificate to contest the PDP primary to Rivers PDP elders, the political train has already left the station, wise politicians should do well by re-joining the movement. The doors are still wide open. Unless they are dancing to music from distant political parties.
If Ajimogobia is searching for a party where one emperor takes the decision on behalf of the members, he knows where to turn to. PDP is a democratic party that recognises hard work and links to the ordinary people.
The fight ahead is to reclaim a stolen mandate. PDP is presently not in power in Rivers State an therefore cannot afford the luxury of an academic exercise. When eventually Barrister Wike leads all PDP members from the Riverine and Upland to victory in 2015, then internal negotiations will commence.
Power belongs to the people of Rivers State and they have decided to pitch their tenth with Barrister Wike. Like I have said before, these campaigns of character assassination and falsehood will not change the considered opinion of the people. Wike is the preferred candidate and we are confident that the delegates will affirm all their endorsements on Monday, December 8.
A word is enough for the Wise Ajimogobia.
Simeon Nwakaudu is the Special Assistant (Media) to Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, PDP Governorship Aspirant, Rivers State.