With less than two weeks to the legislative rerun elections in Rivers State, Gov. Nyesom Wike appears to have thrown all caution to the wind as he goes berserk and launches a campaign of blackmail on everyone especially the APC, INEC and the Nigeria Police.
Like the proverbial masquerade that has lost his entire arrows, Gov. Nyesom Wike is cutting a pitiable image of a disarmed dictator and this is understandable. Fact is that Gov. Nyesom Wike has never embarked on any election without buying over the police and the rest of the security agencies. He has also not engaged in any election without taking firm control of the election umpire and the judiciary. The height of this malfeasance was in the 2015 elections when he introduced another factor – the use of ex-militants and hoodlums who killed and maimed for him while Gesila Khan’s INEC wrote election results with Wike’s men across Rivers State.
However, as the rerun elections approach, it seems to be dawning on the governor that times have changed as the security agencies including the Nigeria Police are way beyond his corrupting reach. Despite still having pockets of moles in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Gov. Wike has lost the services of the top echelon of the Commission who are conscious of the anti-corruption stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. They are learning from the soon-to-be-tried former Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan who collected hundreds of millions of Naira from the Jonathan government and handed over the Port Harcourt INEC office and election materials to Nyesom Wike before, during and after the general elections of 2015.
Today, some of the Supreme Court justices that Gov. Wike compromised to get favourable judgment over the 2015 election are standing trial while others are under intense investigation by security agents. Terribly frightened, many judges will be unwilling to cavort with Nyesom Wike this time around.
The result of the present situation is that the cowardly Gov. Nyesom Wike is feeling totally vulnerable and jittery. In his helplessness, the governor has resorted to crude blackmail against all stakeholders in the December 10 rerun election.
Last week, he concocted a fictional story about INEC handing over original results sheets to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a wild accusation the Minister debunked immediately. Next on the governor’s ignominious list for blackmail was INEC whom he accused of colluding with the APC to rig the rerun election. He provided no proof and both the INEC and APC denied the accusations.
To the surprise of everyone, Gov. Wike, while addressing his supporters on Monday accused the Rivers State Commissioner of Police of plotting to rig the December 10 rerun election in Rivers State for the APC. Most astonishingly, Gov. Wike promised to make public visuals of that plot by the Police Commissioner.
It is certain that, like fish out of water, Gov. Wike is gasping for political breath having found himself totally de-robed of his infamous pretentious garment of electoral strongman. Indeed, the governor is back to earth.
In the face of Wike’s shenanigan, what is certain to the APC is that the governor is merely throwing mud of blackmail indiscriminately against everyone to sufficiently create a facade that will allow him display from his deep bag of electoral mischief. He is merely flying a red herring to divert attention from his dubious electoral schemes. No one is fooled at all.
The APC knows that the only weapon available to Gov. Nyesom Wike today is the use of his private army located in the Orashi, Ogoni and Oceania axes. But it is important for the governor to realise that there is a new Sherriff in town. His private soldiers are likely to meet their waterloo this time if they push their luck too far by becoming visible on December 10.
The APC wishes to call on Governor Nyesom Wike to immediately desist from his present free-for-all blackmailing of critical stakeholders in the December 10 rerun elections. He should halt the continued odious disgrace and dishonour he is bringing to the high office of governor of Rivers State. He should learn to be decorous and dignifying in the way he speaks and acts. Rivers State had had governors before him, he is not the first and would not be the last; the good people of Rivers State do not deserve the present mediocre and odoriferous drama. Rivers State is not a state of nitwits [apologies to Prof. Tam David-West].
State Publicity Secretary