By Simeon Nwakaudu
While serious contenders and political parties are busy strategizing and working hard to ensure victory at the 2015 general elections, starting from the primaries, an association of 16 governorship aspirants masquerading as PDP members have been jumping from one press conference to the other in the vain belief that they can alter the political equation to end the locust years in Rivers State.
This sad commentary has become one of the most distracting comedies of this political dispensation. Their latest misadventure was the press conference addressed at Abuja on November 5, 2014 where 11 of them showed up while 5 of them still consulting with the party hierarchy refused to show up, but have not disowned the content of the ill-fated press statement. Their statement was read by one Professor Owate and garnished by Ankio Briggs as none of the members of the Association of Fifth Columnists Governorship Aspirants had the courage to personally present the statement. These two are not aspirants. How sad?
It must be quickly pointed out that majority of these aspirants are professional gubernatorial aspirants who usually add the appellation, former governorship aspirant to their curriculum vitae. They are politicians who throw up reasons to contest every governorship primary, the latest reason being zoning.
These fifth columnists working in tandem with outgoing Governor Rotimi Amaechi have been threatening to ensure that PDP is defeated during the general elections and have engaged in series of anti-party activities. The party under the leadership of Barrister Wike will win all the forthcoming general elections. The PDP members in Rivers State have since instituted the famous acronym, WWW meaning Wike Will Win. Therefore, everyone is fully focused to ensure that the outgoing governor and his team of fifth columnists are not given any opportunity to derail the match to progress.
The press conference that these fifth columnists addressed on Wednesday is simply a follow up to the appearance of their sponsor, outgoing Governor Rotimi Amaechi on the African Independent Television, AIT on tuesday. All the views canvassed by these fifth columnists in their ill-fated press conference are similar to those canvassed by their paymaster-Governor Amaechi.
These fifth columnists all through their seven-page Press Statement cast aspersions on the PDP and repeatedly threatened the party. These are the traits of their leader, exhibited before he left the party after failing to destabilise the party.
These so-called aspirants attempted in liaison with their pay master to burn down the Rivers State PDP Secretariat, but they failed. They attempted to hijack the ward congress committee, but failed and they have been working desperately to promote the agenda of the opposition party in Rivers State. They were in different courts to stop the congresses, where they also failed.
For the avoidance of doubt, the ward congresses of our great party, the PDP held peacefully and successfully in all the 319 wards of Rivers State. The State Ward Congress Committee met with all stakeholders, journalists and local government returning officers at the Rivers State PDP Secretariat on Aba road. The committee remained neutral all through the exercise. On Saturday November 8, 2014, the Local Government Congresses held successfully in the 23 LGAs of Rivers State. The PDP members on the field are working, mobilizing Rivers people from all walks of life to throw out all leftovers of the incumbent administration and political party.
It is surprising that these planted aspirants after boycotting the exercise are coming up to call for its cancellation. Under what premise are they challenging an exercise they refused to participate in? They should bear it in mind that they cannot achieve what their paymaster failed to achieve.
The processes and outcomes of the ward congresses were duly covered by local and national electronic and print media, with active monitoring by the electoral umpire. The ward congresses were conducted in line with the party’s guidelines under a free and fair atmosphere. The party’s delegates have all emerged and are ready to participate in the subsequent primaries.
It must be placed on record that contrary to the falsehood peddled by the aspirants at their press conference, the leading governorship aspirant, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had no hand in the constitution of the State Ward Congress Committee. Like every loyal party member, he dutifully participated in the ward congresses.
The National Working Committee of our great party is aware of the antics of these opposition sponsored elements and therefore cannot be deceived by their concocted tales aimed at distracting the party in the wake of the 2015 election.
Our party members in Rivers State are determined to work for the emergence of a candidate that has the capacity to oust APC, hence they have repeatedly disregarded the antics of these planted moles. They have turned out in their thousands to participate in the local council tour of Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Barrister Wike will contest the PDP governorship primary and will go ahead to defeat the APC in February 2015. The antics of these moles will amount to nothing. Rather than seek ways to confront the APC government that has ruined Rivers State, they are busy fighting Barrister Wike, the acclaimed emancipating.
Where were these aspirants when Barrister Wike led other PDP members to ensure that PDP was not destroyed in Rivers State? Where were these planted aspirants when Barrister Wike and other PDP leaders ensured that the party grew from strength to strength and the integrity of President Jonathan preserved in the state?
Nigerians should expect more of these false statements in the coming days. These aspirants are not genuine PDP members; hence they will continue to work with the opposition.
Lest I forget, these planted aspirants called for fresh registration of members, less than four weeks to the primaries. This prayer exposed their ulterior motive. The party is still contending with 16 of them and their few accomplices and they want the floodgate to be opened so that the APC will populate the PDP with fifth columnists for the purpose of ruining the party from within. That will never happen.
The club of 16 governorship aspirants claimed that the party’s registers from all the wards were carted away by their sponsor when he ran from the fireworks of genuine party members. But they deliberately refused to tell the media and Nigerians that the National Working Committee through the National Organizing Secretary wrote to the Rivers PDP in May to conduct fresh membership registration and membership validation. That process was carried out. These same aspirants registered under that process and obtained their new membership cards through that process. Of course, a few of them based in Abuja obtained their cards from the National Secretariat since they are not on ground in their wards.
Therefore, the PDP registers in Rivers State are up to date and were duly revalidated after Governor Amaechi fled the party.
Barrister Wike is an aspirant propped up by the leaders and ordinary members of the Rivers PDP. He is their choice. They bought the form for him and have indicated that they prefer him to succeed the non-performing government in Rivers State. Therefore, no degree of blackmail, threats and falsehood will stop the will of the people. Barrister Wike has the capacity to confront the failed government in Rivers State and put a smile on the faces of Rivers People.
Simeon Nwakaudu is the Special Assistant (Media) to Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, PDP Governorship Aspirant, Rivers State.