Rivers : Atiku, Secondus And Others Hail Wike Over His Victory

By Stephen Ubanna

When information filtered out on Wednesday, April  3, 2019, that Awara  Biokpomabo, the African Action Congress, AAC, governorship Candidate, endorsed by the  All the Progressive Cogress, APC, leader,  in Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of the state and minister of Transportation , has lost out to Nyesom Wike, the incumbent governor and the Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the election, the state was thrown into wild jubilation.

But the people may have failed to roll out the drums to celebrate the victory until Teddy Adias, a Professor and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, appointed  Returning officer, sitting along- side Obio Effanga,  had announced the result  based on the information  before him from the various local government Areas of the state.

 In announcing the result, Adias, a Professor,  from the University of Agriculture , Otuoke,  former President Goodluck Jonathan  home town in Bayelsa  state, said  Wike, the PDP, Candidate   polled  886,264 votes  to Awara  of the AAC’s  173,859 votes, an indication that the AAC, touch bearer and his alleged sponsors in the state and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were not on the ground .

Going by  the local government  and local government account of the results, the PDP ,Candidate who had put a close tab on the APC gladiators, INEC officials and the security Agencies personnel  deployed  to  the state  to monitor the  election to  forestall them from  manipulating the will the will of the people  before and after the governorship and state Assembly election.

Wike was said to have  won   in Po Ikwerre local government Area, the home base of Amaechi , the APC  leader in the state,   Andoni,  Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of PDP, home base,    Opobo/Nkro, which is the local government Area of  Dakuku Peterside, Director General, Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency., NIMASA , PortHarcourt, Eleme and Okirika.

Other local government Areas won by the PDP , Candidate include Bonny, Omuma, Tai, Ahoada East,Emooha, Etche, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, ONELGA, Asari Toru, Obio-Akpo  Degemaand Ogu/Bolo. This is in addition to Ahoada west, Gokana  and Khan local Government Areas.

Awara, going by the Returning officer’s records had  won in Akuku Toru  local government Area  which was a battleground, during the governorship election as the people insisted there would be  no voting because of  late arrival of the ballot boxes and ballot boxes alleged to have been thumb printed in favour of the AAC, Candidate, with the active support of security operatives.  He had also won in Onyigbo local government.  Awara, the AAC, Candidate had scored 32,661 votes to Wike’s 25,765 votes, described as not a true reflection of the will of the people of the local government.

 This is because of the strong  support which the PDP Candidate  had in the local government Area. Notable among them was David Briggs, a former Commisioner of Works in the state under the Peter Odili Administration and who incidentally had served as the Chairman of the local government . The good news was that  the pdpd candidate  had won with a wide margin in all the local Areas  declared in his favour  in the state .

It was not surprising why  the Rivers state governor elect, drew the attention of Ahmadu  Fintri, his counterpart in Adamawa  state, who flew into the state  on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to join  in celebrating the victory, to know that  he came through a party and must work for the party. ”Don’t work for your personal  interest”, he had told the Adamawa  state governor elect.

  The Rivers state governor  was also said to have advised Fintri,  to ”implement  people-oriented  projects”, stressing that that there is need  for him  to ”consult  the people and other leaders of the party  across the board  before  taking decisions  on the affairs of the state.”. it is the key, he said.

 This may have been the reason why the people of Rivers stood behind him during the period of trial when the Collation and announcement of the governorship and state Assembly election  was suspended  by INEC, on Sunday, March 10, 2019, on the premise of disruption of the exercise by Security operatives at the Collation centre .

An elated Wike, who  could not hide his feelings, when Adias, the INEC Returning officer in the state  declared him  the winner of  the hard fought battle to retain his tenancy at Brick House, popular  government House, in the state , dedicated the victory  to those  ”who lost their lives  defending their votes , to God and the people of the state”.

Uche Secondus: Wike is A Commited Democract

  I am overwhelmed by the support they had displayed during and after the general elections to me, he enthused. Perhaps to accommodate the  diverse  shades of political opinion in the state , he was said to to have   promised to run an ” inclusive government”

. Appealing to the opposition partiee  to join forces with the ruling PDP  in building the state,  he said  that” there is no place like”. He may have alluded  to Amaechi  and his loyalties who are  fighting from outside to come back home  instead of frittering awy  the resources of the state.

Puting on the garb of a leader,  he said, ”nobody won  or lost in the election but only the people of the state that had won the election”. This should gladden the heart of   Awara, the  AAC, Candidate, who  may want to take the advice of his sponsors from both within and outside the state to challenge the result in court to drop the idea and wait till 2013 to sell his Candidature to the people of the state again. Already Wike has made it clear to those that care to listen  that he will not go beyond 2013 but will continue to serve the people, this time, it may be at in a higher capacity at the Federal level.

Atiku Ababubakar , a business mogul and the PD , Presidential Candidate in the 2019 , Presidential election said ”it gives him  great pleasure  to see a political force  like him ”overcome the anti-democratic forces  of dictatorship and repression”.

Secondus, the National Chairman of the party, who  is very proud of Wike,  thanked him  for conducting  himself in a peaceful manner  in the ”face of provocations , noting that the party will continue to exhibit that ”democracy in his DNA   until all non democrats   are flushed out of the polity”.  The PDP Chairman  said President Muhammadu Buhari  and the APC National leadership should burry their” face in  shame  that  what they could do after four years in the office  was to use a combined team of gullible INEC officials  and security operatives  to hang on to power after ”stealing the people’s mandate.

His major worry was that in Rivers state  where the APC has no governorship Candidate  due to internal party wranglings,  it took extra 10 days to get the result  out from the state because of the overzealous security operatives who were fighting for a non existence party in the state. He noted that the introduction of  inconclusive and suspension  of polling in the country’s electoral process   was ostensibly to aid  Apc to victory through Supplementary balloting  but failed to it in Rivers state, due to the doggedness of a committed democrat., Wike.

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