By Simeon Nwakaudu
There is a convergence of opinion amongst the leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State. The leaders and members of the party in the state have collectively resolved to work together for the purpose of ensuring that the PDP returns to the Government House, Port Harcourt and the Rivers people duly re-integrated into the mainstream of Nigerian leadership.
This considered decision was not taken lightly by these leaders and members. To give life to this decision, Rivers PDP leaders from all the 23 local councils of the State on Tuesday, 21st October, 2014 contributed their personal resources bought the PDP governorship nomination form and drafted the former Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike into the governorship race.
On this point, there is no riverine and upland dichotomy, as the people of the state are in dire need of redemption from four years of mis-adventure, hence the need to put the best team forward in order to achieve the desired victory. No club would have a prolific striker and place him on the bench when playing a critical match, simply because of other consideration aside from the desire to emerge victorious in the contest. The people of Rivers State have resolved not to be different. They are sticking to the winning team with the attack spear-headed by Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.
Senator Adewari Pepple after the purchase of the governorship form for Barrister Wike declared: “For those of from the riverine, we see him as a riverine and a Rivers man. Same for those from the upland. Considering where we are today, we believe that such dichotomies are absolutely unnecessary”.
A similar testimony came from Chief Ferdinand Alabaraba, a Kalabari PDP leader. He handed over the governorship nomination form on behalf of the Rivers PDP leaders to Barister Wike. He stated that the leaders from all sections of the state, working with the youths have resolved to sponsor the emergence of Wike as the next governor of the state.
Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Opara said that the considered decision to collectively sponsor Wike for the governorship primary and election was borne out of the fact that all stakeholders must be involved in the project so that no single politician will take the credit of enthroning a governor in Rivers State any more.
This considered decision cuts across all strata of the Rivers society. The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has also blessed the position of the people. She says that Barr. Wike having delivered at the Federal Executive Council will deliver at the State level.
Speaking when she paid a solidarity visit to the former Minister of State for Education, Barrister Wike in his Abuja residence on Thursday: Dame Jonathan said: “I am giving you the blessing of a mother. The blessing a mother gives to a beloved son.
“Go and you will conquer. He is a Minister that delivered while he served in the cabinet. Wike proved himself and is ready to serve in a higher capacity”.
Mrs Jonathan added that the former Minister is a listening and respectful politician who listened to her when she asked him to drop his senatorial aspiration in 2011.
“You listened to me and dropped your senatorial aspiration. I pray God to protect you, lead you and please go on with your aspiration.
“I have handed you (Barr. Wike) over to our father, Dr Peter Odili and the people of Rivers State. You are going to Rivers State for the betterment of all of us and to wipe our tears.”
After the First Lady handed Barrister Wike over to Rivers PDP elders on Thursday in Abuja. The elders in turn escorted Barr. Wike back to Rivers State on Friday and presented him to thousands of Rivers PDP supporters who trooped to the Port Harcourt International airport to welcome him back after three and half years of meritorious service to the nation.
Barrister Wike has accepted the onerous task of redeeming Rivers State from the clutches of mis-adventure, mis-application of resources and poor infrastructural development.
Wike declared that he is prepared to lead the party to victory in all elections in 2015. Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday during his formal declaration to contest the 2015 governorship election, Barrister Wike urged all other aspirants to also subject themselves for primary, rather than calling for his exclusion.
The governorship aspirant stated that in view of the fact that the PDP is the opposition party in Rivers State, the circumstances now dictate that only a strong and grassroots candidate can uproot the APC in the state. He noted that his aspiration is a product of necessity and the need to frontally tackle the development deficits of the state has made his contesting the election vital.
“I am a candidate of necessity. The PDP needs to field her best candidate to defeat the ruling party in the state. The APC is sponsoring moles in the PDP to seek for a weak candidate that they can ddefeat.
“The APC knows that they have no candidate that Will defeat me. They have toyed with the idea of several candidates and have realized that none has the capacity to face me in an election. I shall lead our party to victory.
The decision of the followership and leadership of PDP in Rivers State will come to fruition. They want a listening leader who will collaborate with President Jonathan and other South-South governors to deliver development. In Nyesom Wike, they have found that man.
The Rivers people are tired of unnecessary political bickering with the Federal Government. They are tired of orchestrated political tension to divert the attention of the people from developmental deficiencies. In Barrister Wike, they have found a leader with the focus his skills on rebuilding a bruised community and ensure that the people have a direction.
Despite the voice of the majority endorsing Barrister Wike to send the non performing APC government in Rivers State packing, Nigerians should expect to hear a few losing politicians weeping that undemocratic means be adopted so that they can make political ends meet. No matter the noise they make, the Rivers people have spoken. Their considered decision is public knowledge -on Barrister Wike, we stand.
Simeon Nwakaudu is the Special Assistant (Media) to Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom (CON), PDP Governorship Aspirant, Rivers State.