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Princewill’s True Confession: Rivers People Believe in Governor Wike – By Simeon Nwakaudu 


I watched the 2015 Defeated Rivers State Labour Party Governorship Candidate, Mr Tonye Princewill  on Channels Television Political  Programme on Sunday Night and I must admit that in a split second during that interview, Princewill confessed the truth.

That this happened  on live national television only confirms what Rivers people and other Nigerians already know about the political scenario  in Rivers State. 

Asked pointedly by the anchor if Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike can be dislodged given the present strength of Rivers APC, Tonye Princewill confessed that as things stand  today, nobody can defeat  Governor Wike.  He, however, claimed that before 2019, the APC would have gathered momentum  to challenge  Wike.

It is on the second leg of his statement that I disagree with Princewill.  Let me say it clearly without being immodest that  the political  connection between Governor Wike and the ordinary  people of Rivers State is growing by the minute. By 2019, it would have reached its fever pitch and the revalidation of the people’s mandate would be the extension  of a working social contract. 

In the said confessional interview, Princewill claimed that one of the points that the APC  would use in dislodging Governor Wike  if they eventually  wake up from their  slumber is the riverine-upland dichotomy. 

We can forgive Princewill because he is not in tune with the reality on ground in Rivers State.  This  is understandable.  He has been travelling around the globe participating in film festivals, with little time to visit Rivers State.  Whenever he returns, he quickly dashes into a studio for an interview session without  reviewing the developments at home.

The New Rivers project is a pan-Rivers initiative. It was built on the strength of salvaging  the state from the locust years of Amaechi.  It was fundamentally a United Action to stop the rot and check the thievery and looting foisted on the state by the immediate past APC  administration. 

Therefore, Rivers leaders and ordinary  folks from all ethnic nationalities resolved to draft in the strongest politician at the time to build a formidable force to dislodge the treacherous  APC leadership  in the state.  At this point, the riverine-upland dichotomy was relegated for the greater good of Rivers State.

Otherwise, Amaechi would have foisted his boys-quarters crony on the state. Recall that Rivers APC at the time had no primary election.  Amaechi’s  crony was merely handpicked to fulfil an evil agenda.

Leaders like Chief Ferdinand Alabrabra, Dr Tammy Danagogo, Rt Hon Austin Opara, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, Senator Adawari People, Sir Kenneth Kobani, Prince Emma Anyanwu, Dr Fred Kpakol , Betty Apiafi, Senator Thompson Sekibo, Madam Toru Ofili  among others purchased the PDP Governorship  Form for Governor Wike after prevailing on him to resign as a Minister of the Federal Republic.  This symbolic action obliterated the riverine-upland dichotomy. 

Before then, Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili  and Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan led other Rivers elders  across party lines to endorse Governor Wike to run.

Fast forward to 2017. Governor Wike  in his first 30months in office  has re-defined leadership.  He has delivered  to the level that the APC  in Rivers State  has nothing to campaign  with other than the sponsorship  of propaganda.  

The performance  of Governor Wike has made all Rivers people proud. While  APC  states are battling with unpaid salaries, Governor Wike  is up to date with salaries and pensions. 

While other states are struggling  to stay afloat, Governor Wike has executed  hundreds of projects across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.  He has established a strong security network, created empowerment platforms and revived the economy destroyed  by Amaechi. 

Governor Wike has raised the stake in Rivers State.  He has made the people to come to the realisation that good governance  is possible. His outstanding  achievements have created a situation  where the people are ready to defend their votes at all times. 

Nigerians know the extreme corruption  that the APC has introduced in the use of the security forces to perpetrate the robbery of mandates. The fact that Rivers State survived the ungodly onslaught of the Armed Forces and Police during the several contrived rerun elections underscores the reality   that Governor Wike is loved by the people. 

If Princewill and his co-travellers in the failed and corruption-laden APC  think that by 2019 the security forces will assist them subvert the will of Rivers people, the usual failure will be their portion.  The Rivers  people across the 23 Local Government Areas are ready to defend their preferred choice–Governor Wike.

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