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Rivers APC And The Multi- Billion Naira Question

By Simeon Nwakaudu

At the  height of the 2015 Governorship Election Campaigns in Rivers State, one question  took over the airwaves and campaign  venues. Till date, nobody from the APC  has been  able to truthfully answer the question.

This question was generated  in the campaign song made popular  by the Rivers State PDP  ace musician popularly  called Holy.

Holy, in one of his songs, had asked: “How many dem dey, wey we no go win dem?” This question is still relevant  close to two years after the PDP trounced  the  APC  in Rivers State.

Wherever you go in Rivers State, the APC  has no presence. There is no single local government area  where APC leaders can comfortably  lay claim to be their strong base.

Amongst the elders, APC  does not exist. There are no strong APC youth and women leaders and most importantly, the mass majority have since turned their backs on the APC.

Since APC emerged as the ruling party at the center and Amaechi  and his sidekicks migrated to Abuja, the  party has not attracted  a single viable  project to Rivers State.  They have concentrated  all their energies  on negative propaganda  and  sponsorship  of acts  of  insecurity aimed at casting the government of Rivers State in bad light.

Other than occasional  media appearances, they have  had no contact  with the people. They come back on the eve of elections, backed  by thousands of security personnel from  distant  climes and unleash  violence on the people,  as they  struggle to rig.

These negative  efforts have further  alienated the APC from the people of Rivers State. The party is so unpopular. No candidate wins election  in Rivers State if he/she  professes APC.

In Rivers State, APC  is synonymous with mischief. That is why  they do not campaign. The party  is seen as a congregation  of traitors. A community that sides with external  forces to the detriment  of Rivers State.  A group of political misfits  who work relentlessly  to stunt the developmental  progress of  the state.

Therefore, no person who is well-meaning in Rivers State wants to be associated  with the APC.  Those in the APC who still want to see Rivers State grow have since returned to  the PDP.  One of the  leaders  of the APC in Rivers State, Chief Glory Emeh, a former Commissioner of Transport, has since  defected  to the PDP. Aside from the immediate past Governor, Rotimi Amaechi  and his close associates like Dakuku Peterside and Senator Magnus Abe, all the leaders of Rivers State  are with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  in the PDP.

A short roll call of Rivers leaders in the  PDP would suffice. Dr. Peter Odili, Sir Celestine Omehia, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara, former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, Senator Lee Maeba, former Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru, former PDP Acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, former Minister of Sports, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Chief Sergeant Awuse, Prince Emma Anyanwu  Former  UBA Chairman, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, and Former Director General of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof Ndidi Onyuike.

Across the 23 Local Government Areas  of the  state, PDP  boasts of active grassroots leaders  and members, who positively impact  on the  lives of the people. All across the 319 wards and the 4442 polling units  of  the  state, the impact of the PDP is felt. The hand of Mr. Projects  is seen clearly.

Every step of the way, PDP has become an entrenched culture in the state. Even those in the APC are estranged members of the PDP. However, each time they exhibit  their wickedness, the question  arises: “How many Dem Dey Wey we no go win dem?”

During the December 10 Rerun elections  when the APC Federal Government mobilized  over 50,000 security  personnel and close to 100 assorted security  vehicles on land, sea and air, the leader of Rivers people, Governor Wike  went to the people, called for three-day fasting and vigilance. The people  complied.

The failure of Federal forces and the pliant Electoral Commission to totally  rob Rivers  people is the highpoint of this Democratic dispensation. It is a proof that Nigerians  can stand up to democratic bullies.

It was so embarrassing  that security  personnel were caught  on video shooting  sporadically, so they  can cart away election materials on behalf of the ruling APC.  It was so shameful that INEC  gave  out serial numbers  of ballot papers and result sheets to APC  Official  printer and cousin to the Rivers State APC 2015 defeated governorship candidate to print fake election materials to be used for rigging.

When the Rivers APC fake result sheets  printer, Atonyesia Peterside,  was arrested, INEC and Police took him to Calabar in a bid to sweep the matter under the carpet. Till date, Atonyesia Peterside has been shielded  from prosecution.

The failure of Federal forces to rig in Rivers State  enthroned the power of the people.  It spelt out that power cannot reside with the holders of the  instruments  of state coercion.

Nigerians expect that INEC  and the security agencies would  have  understood  that rigging  cannot  stand in Rivers State as the people are ever vigilant and determined to exercise  their  democratic rights.

The unique  selling point of the PDP in Rivers State is the performance  of Governor Wike. On this point, there has been no dispute.

The governor’s  projects are spread across the state. Communities and ethnic nationalities hitherto neglected by the APC  are now feeling the impact  of government.

On their  part, these communities  are reciprocating  the gesture of the Wike administration  by standing  firm behind the PDP  as they  defend  their  electoral choices.

In 2015, Governor Wike defeated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, with a total of 1,029,102 votes. Mr. Peterside polled 124,896 votes.

Since that  resounding  victory in 2015, Governor Wike’s  outstanding  performance  has made him more popular. Significantly, he has further  depopulated  the ranks of the APC.

All subsequent  elections  in the state have proved that Rivers PDP  will continue to sing the song of victory.

Holy sang “how many dem dey wey we no go win dem?”, but today Veteran Musician Daniel Wilson has added a philosophical angle to the decision of Rivers people. This is captured in his new single titled: “Rivers people arise”. Governor Wike personifies  the collective  desire of the Rivers people to run along the path of development.  He has given to  them what they missed under the immediate past APC administration in the state and they have committed themselves  to  standing with  him.

Nwakaudu is media aide to Gov Wike



This post first appeared on Igbo News, please read the originial post: here

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Rivers APC And The Multi- Billion Naira Question

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