By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi In London, the United Kingdom, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said he has not given any thought to contesting the 2019 presidential poll. Besides, Osinbajo said he has no timeline for when he may make such a decision in the election scheduled for February 2019. The vice president spoke on the sidelines of…
By Simeon Nwakaudu
In today’s Nigeria, the APC has so mutilated the definition of corruption to the level that nobody knows the true meaning of the word. Right before our eyes, the APC Federal Government has upgraded corruption to levels unimaginable. They have turned our security services into agents of political and social corruption. Men and women who freely dispense evil and tragedy.
Rivers State has therefore become their theatre of political corruption. This is where they focus their attention to kill, steal, maim, rape and destabilise the people, all in their bid to steal the mandate of the people. This state is where the APC Federal Government daily commits crime against humanity with impunity.
The essence of the APC Federal Government’s Political Corruption in Rivers State is captured in the National Chairman’s Statement on February 4, 2016 after the election of Governor Wike was validated by the Supreme Court. John Odigie-Oyegun shamelessly declared: “We have lost very important resource-rich states to the PDP. No matter how crude oil prices have fallen, it is still the most important revenue earner for the country.”
To the APC, Rivers State is just a fishing ground. A source of cheap funds for the sponsorship of elections, lining up of pockets and the centre for the massage of over-bloated political egos. Rivers State is not qualified to get projects or juicy appointments. Not even the mere patching of existing Federal roads. Federal Power plants are sold in shady deals , same way as indicted immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi sold state assets built by his predecessor.
Indeed, the APC Federal Government fights corruption everywhere, but shies away from prosecuting the indicted immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi because his indictment touches on the very soul of the APC. Several Billions of Rivers funds were used to finance the APC elected officials at all levels. This much, APC leaders confessed during the ill-fated 52nd Birthday of Rotimi Amaechi.
It is on the premise of APC’s glutinous craving for Rivers State that the regular defence of the state has become not only relevant, but urgent. Few weeks ago, the embattled Minister of Transportation with no development imprints in Rivers State since 2015 , was reported to have released over N200million for online and traditional media propaganda against Governor Wike and Rivers State. He also reportedly released another N300million for phantom defection rallies. These funds siphoned from the coffers of Rivers State will be of no effect as the people are with Governor Wike.
Rivers declaration for governor Wike
The funded invasions of Rivers State by security forces, plotting the rigging of the 2019 General Elections have alerted the youths of the state on the need to make a public declaration that they stand by the PDP and Governor Wike.
Therefore, the Walk4Wike Season 2 was a veritable platform for the youths of Rivers State to prove their support for a performing governor. A governor who has transformed Rivers State and made it a huge construction site. A state with a robust and functional economy, even in the face of national economic stagnation. .
On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, several thousands of Rivers Youths came out on their own volition to set the records straight and pass the right message to the world–that Rivers State is PDP and that the people love Governor Wike.
Like in the days of Prophet Samuel, the natural elements bore testimony of the achievements of Governor Wike. The rains stood still and allowed Rivers youths to trek for four kilometres. The weather was clement. Few days earlier, the APC Federal Government sponsored a walk for Buhari and Rivers people failed to turn up. Even the few that made it to the field were dispersed by a torrential rain of that day.
The 4-kilometre Walk4Wike Season 2, took off from the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park through the length of Aba Road and terminated at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
In the course of the long trek, the youths shared handbooks, DVDs containing Governor Wike’s achievements and sang pro-Wike campaign songs to further sell the governor to the people.
The walk which was coordinated by D-Source Connect Group, had endorsements and participation from hundreds of social media and civil society groups .
Speaking after the Walk, Convener of the Walk4Wike Season 2, Barrister Vincent Dike Amadi declared that Rivers youths resolved to stage walk as a way of telling the international community and other Nigerians that the people were in full support of Governor Wike.
Amadi said: “The youths of Rivers State have come to say that come 2019, Governor Wike should present himself for a second term. “We will March across the 23 Local Government Areas to promote the candidature of Governor Wike and to ensure that he wins in 2019”.
Appreciation of WALK4WIKE by Rivers stakeholders
Even though Walk4Wike Season Two was organised by youths under the platform of D-Source Connect Group, major stakeholders participated in the exercise.
All the stakeholders who participated in Walk4Wike were happy that Governor Wike has improved the fortunes of the state, hence he deserves the support to lead the state till 2023.
Mr. Chiboso Awholor, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Financial Matters said the Walk4Wike is showcasing to the world that Rivers people believe in Governor Wike. According to him, the walk is an encouragement to the governor to sustain his development agenda. An official of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Israel Wobo said:” The Walk4Wike is to notify Governor Wike on time to get prepared for a 2nd tenure”.
A commissioner in the Rivers State Government, Mr Emma Okah said the essence of the work is to emphasise that the people of Rivers State are in solidarity with the Rivers State Governor. He noted that it is a vote of confidence and a recognition of the Governor’s good performance in office.
Chief Aribetonye Okiri captured the relevance of Walk4Wike thus: “Essentially, what you see today is a spontaneous demonstration of the acceptance of Governor Wike as a leader who has improved the living condition of the people”.
Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Mr Anselm Oguguo said that the people of the state will support the governor to attain a second term because the state deserves development.
Member of the House of Representatives, Mr Ken Chikere said that the walk is an endorsement of the performance of Governor Wike.
Commitment to further development
One of the positive outcomes of the Walk4Wike Season Two was the commitment by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike that he will continue to roll out development projects for the good of the people of the state.
Speaking through his deputy, Dr Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Governor Wike appreciated the walk, which he said is an encouragement to do more for the people.
Governor Wike said: “In Rivers State, since 2015, we have had purposeful leadership. We don’t care what happens at the centre. We are focused on developing Rivers State. You can see the projects being executed and the people are being carried along “. The governor said that institutions have been strengthened , leading to economic and social growth across the state.
Message to political criminals
Those who hide under the guise of fighting corruption to perpetrate political theft , have been told that they will not succeed in Rivers State.
The Walk4Wike Season Two was the beginning of a march to resist electoral fraudsters in whatever form they present themselves. The walk is a symbolic affirmation that power belongs to the people.
It is a powerful statement that the people of Rivers State are appreciative of the achievements of Governor Wike and the governor’s commitment to state-wide development.
The Political criminals may roll out their military tanks and propaganda weapons of treachery, but Rivers people will overcome .Most importantly, Governor Wike will continue to deliver pro-people projects for the good of the state.