Hello fellas. Yea, Thank God its friday. Today isn’t just gona be about sport or should I say football. Though, lots of goals banged in through the course of the week and a lot of game s kept us wondering if there was something sweeter than honey, money, and football…especially football. Barcelona, and monaco ran away with victories as arsenal and manchester city could only lick their wounded asses off the pitch. More game came through yesterday which saw teams like ajax, dinamo moscow, besiktas et al, taking the reins. However, not much is gona be discussed on football as I had received an impromptu article from a dear friend from the south-south. As imperative as the article can ever be can be easily adjudged from the emotions and passion with which the writer had put into it. As much as I would have loved to take the credit for this beautiful and incisive piece, it was sent in by Aderibigbe Adebayo,from benin city. A non-partisan politician and a respected community leader. So my dear readers, don’t blink an eye, its about to go down !!!!!!!!!
THE RIVERS PDP DILEMA
Nigerians, generally, are fixates on the forthcoming
presidential election, failing to take into consideration the epic battle waiting to happen in the Rivers state gubernatorial polls. I say with all sense of seriousness that the battle for the soul of Rivers state would go down as one of the most epic electoral contest in the annals of the state and the country at large. It would be a battle of winners and sinners, a battle of wits and
egos, and a battle of seens and unseen forces. Some of the factors that would determine this election include the ethnicity of the candidates, and the federal and local forces behind each candidate. On the side of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), its standard bearer, Nyesom Wike (Upland-Ikwere), has told all that cared to listen that he has the backing of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is from the same ethnic group as the All Progressive Congress (APC) standard bearer Dr. Peterside Dakuku (Riverine-Ijaw). In Rivers State the riverine- upland dichotomy is also used to distinguish the terrain of the ijaws (Andoni, Bonny, Kalabari, Okrika/Ogu-Bolo Opobo, Abua/Odual, parts of Ahoda West, Port Harcourt, and Oyigbo) from the terrain of other ethnic groups.
In 1999 Rivers East produced Governor Peter Odili. He
received the total support of riverine-Ijaw during his 2003 second term election. Governor Odili handed over power in 2007 to another senatorial district; this time to Rivers West. Celestine Omehia ia an upland man from Ikwerre LGA. When
the court removed him from office another Ikwerre-upland man also took over; this time Gov. Chibuike Amaechi. Once again riverine in the other districts gave their unquantifiable support to Amaechi during his 2011 second term election. Rivers south east, where the APC candidate is from, is expected to produce the next governor. But the crisis rocking the state is all about Nyesom Wike’s gubernatorial ambition. Wike is not from River South East. He is an upland man from Rivers West that already produced Governor Omehia and
Ameachi. And he has a willing conspirator in the First Lady,
who, ironically, isn’t interested in her kinsman becoming governor for inexplicable reasons. The question now is how does one explain the unholy alliance between Nyesom Wike and Dame Jonathan?
To begin with, Wike is an aggressive grassroots politician. Its
on record that he worked assiduously for Governor Ameachi in 2007 and 2011. But he has since become a political liability because of his style of operation. He plays very dirty politics. In my opinion, for the First Lady to jettison the idea of supporting her kinsman means that there are some undercurrents playing out. I stand to be corrected: if PDP loses the presidential elections, it would matter less to the First Lady. But if PDP loses Rivers State, the world would probably to an end for her. This is why the President should be his own man by urgently addressing the injustice in Rivers State PDP and making sure that the PDP respect the zoning arrangement and allow the riverine area of the state to produce the next
governor, instead of allowing the ambition of an individual
throw the state into anarchy and war, which will not augur well for the state and the country.
The unholy alliance between WIke and Dame Jonathan is
three-fold. She owes a great debt of gratitude to Wike for welcoming her to Rivers State by giving her voice and relevance because at some point Dame Jonathan wasn’t
recognized as a stakeholder in the state. She feels Wike has the
political clout and structure to wrestle power from Gov. Ameachi, and she will feel safe and secured with Wike as Governor, vis-à-vis over the control of the state. But she forget that his candidacy has further polarized the state and might just be seeing the beginning of the end of PDP in Rivers State.
The only way PDP can Rivers State is with the use of force and
violence. And this is their likely game plan. I say this for the following reasons. The party is so desperate to secure the state that it gave party tickets to ex-militants. One of duch is Tamunotoye Smart Adoki aka Ayinla, the House of Assembly candidate in Phalaga Constituency two. Another ex-militant leader, Comrade Ateke Tom, as he is now referred to, is from
the same ethnic group as Dame Jonathan. He drives in a bullet-
proof SUV with a presidency plate number and heavily guarded bymilitary men. The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Kenneth Minimah is also from the same ethnic group as the APC gubernatorial candidate but his loyalty is to Dame Jonathan. The PDP controls the security apparatus in the state
including the Joint Task Force stationed in all riverine areas of the state. Dame Jinathan has decide to take the bull by the horns in supporting Wike despite repeated warning from notable Ijaw leaders. It’s on record that they approached President Jonathan and warned him against making such
mistake. But she refused to bulge and Wike emerged the PDP
candidate. Time will tell how far her support would go in securing a victory for Wike.
There is also the issue of disgruntled members of the PDP who
have decided to remain in the party to work for President Jonathan and against Wike. Take the example of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, a man whom many have said can fix it for both the PDP and Rivers State. We have the challenge of managing
the multiple conflicts that have been generated by divergent
political interests in the state, and we are aware that a polarized PDP needs to come together at a time through somebody who has the might to do that. So, Dumo, to us, is the right man for the job, some PDP elders told this
writer. Another case is that of Odein Ajumogobia who dragged the PDP to court over the non-implemetation of the PDP zoning arrangement. The crisis rocking the PDP in the state is too grave to be ignored. All things considered, interesting times definitely lie ahead in Rivers State. The options are clear enough but whether the President will do the right thing to ensure that the greater interest of the party prevails over the
interest of two people, his wife and Wike remains to be seen.
TIME WILL TELL !!!!!!!!!!
Credit: Aderibigbe Bayo,Benin City