By Simeon Nwakaudu
The world can now attest to the truth. Rivers State is purely a PDP state. This fact will not change for a very long time. At least, not until 2023. The choice to stand with the PDP was deliberately taken by the people in view of the presence of Nigeria’s most pro-people politician and leader, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as a member of the party.
The rerun elections in the State have laid to rest the vain boasts of political armed robbers, clothed in ‘borrowed federal might’ unleashed on the people through noisy media tour and desperate intimidation on the day of elections, simply because ‘they’ want to capture the Treasure Base of the Nation.
Those leaders who were convinced in their hearts in Abuja and Lagos that by simply handing over the security agencies to former Governor Rotimi Amaechi they would intimidate the Rivers people into allowing the APC rig the rerun elections now understand the depth of Governor Wike’s support base across the length and breadth ofthe state.
Even those who thought they would change the outcome of the process by unleashing media violence, false propaganda, negative profiling and orchestrated violence should be wiser by now.
They tested the resolve of the Rivers people and they have found out that the people know who is their leader. They found out that the era of impostors masquerading as leaders has been jettisoned in the state. Most importantly, they found out that the Rivers people will withstand any form of terror to attain development.
By handing over the security forces to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who declared that he will flood the State with soldiers, the ‘powers that be’ practically declared war on the state. They deliberstely removed the neutrality of security forces and compelled them to operate from a political viewpoint. The powers that be simply gave life to the statement of embattled APC National Chairman, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun that the APC was ready to do anything illegal to capture Rivers State.
All the cases of violence witnessed on 19th March, 2016 during the rerun elections were traced to the doorsteps of the military supported by the APC . They were extremely overzealous in their negative commitment to favour the APC. The four persons who died in the course of the rerun elections were victims of military high-handedness. That the atmosphere became charged during collation was because Rivers people resisted the several attempts by the military to supplant collated results with results concocted at the Novotel hotel in Port Harcourt.
Elections were cancelled in eight local government areas because the people and other stakeholders stood their ground insisting on credible polls despite provocative military intimidation. On election day, all the victims of violence were members of the Peoples Democratic Party. APC leaders were assigned soldiers with which they illegally arrested and beat up PDP members.
This writer believes that the rerun elections were a referendum of sorts. Though Governor Wike and his man opponent, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi were not directly involved in the elections, the elections posed as the true test to who is actually on ground. The results are in the public.
Following the heavy defeat suffered by the APC despite its control of the Federal Might, the party and her leadership have returned to their original turf, cooking up lies and circulating unnecessary propaganda. The APC has conscripted paid groups to link the violence during the rerun elections to Governor Wike. Like every other issue, this will fail .
Like last year’s general elections, only the PDP campaigned in all the wards and polling units. It was easier for PDP leaders at all levels because of the superlative performance of Governor Wike. The people are feeling the impact of his governance strategies and they prefer him to continue leading them.
On the other hand, the APC leadership in Rivers State made it clear through their ill-fated propaganda outbursts that they were interested in truncating the good governance being enjoyed in the state. The Rivers people would have nothing to do with this ill-wind.
Expectedly, the people had their way. The voice of the people is the voice of God. In Rivers State, the voice of the people continues to echo PDP. The earlier those interested in mischief accept this fact, the better for them.
With majority of the rerun elections successfully conducted and Certificates of Return issued, the Rivers people have resolved to move forward. Governor Wike has since continued to transform the state into a centre of unprecedented development.
In Rivers State, the antics of the opposition will never move the entrenched movement that was founded on the need to retrieve the state from the clutches of forces of darkness. There is no community that will escape darkness and allow itself to be blackmailed into returning to the dark days.