From the very beginning, the project belonged to the leaders and ordinary people of Rivers State. After years of poor governance, misrule, misapplication of resources and general collapse of governmental structure, they took a firm decision to break away from tyranny and reckless impunity. This decision was not taken lightly. It was taken in the interest of the future of the state and the urgent need to set the state on the path of development.
The people made up their minds to rescue their beloved state from the hands of a treacherous mob, determined to further destroy the state and enslave her people to deadly predators. On this matter, the unity of Rivers people was unshakeable. They resolved to be deaf to the horrible propaganda machine unleashed on the state and her leaders by the outgoing governor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi. They shut their eyes to the concocted visuals churned out by the Amaechi propaganda squad and reeled out daily by his paid media associates in prominent local and international media.
Therefore, they unanimously chose Barrister Nyesom Wike to lead the state and her people to the battle against the forces of under-development and raping of the state without measure. From the Riverine to the Upland, the people agreed to stand by Wike to defeat the monster destroying the very fabric of development in the state.
Wike was a deliberate choice because of the nature of the opposition that has held Rivers State down for years with unparalleled arrogance. Under the extreme circumstances, no other force would have succeeded in liberating Rivers State, other than Wike who knew Amaechi inside-out. Those who live outside Rivers State bought Amaechi’s several lies and propaganda, but the Rivers people who have suffered his financial recklessness and numerous failures were not deceived.
On March 28, the Rivers people sent their first clear message. They stood by the Niger Delta and provided leadership. They chased away thugs imported by Amaechi from distant lands and insisted that their voice must be heard. On April 11, they trooped out once again to speak in one accord -we want Wike.
Despite the Amaechi led violence in four locations aimed at disrupting the governorship election, 1,029,102 Rivers people made their voices heard. Expectedly, no medium reported that by 2.30am of April 11, Amaechi led hundreds of security men to invade the family home of Bartister Wike at Ward 9 in Obio/Akpor LGA. No medium reported that Amaechi led APC thugs on April 11 to Wards 12and 13 of Obio/Akpor LGA to mercilessly beat up INEC officials, tore sensitive materials and effectively disrupted elections in the two wards. INEC had to hold the elections of these two wards on April 12 because of Amaechi’s electoral crime.
Same Amaechi was at Abonnema with armed thugs to invade the town, but was chased away by youths in the area. On his way to Ubima, Amaechi went to Omagwa with the aim of disrupting elections, but the youths resisted him. Regrettably, all these electoral crimes were committed with Amaechi media friends from local and international media around. He rode in an illegally constituted motorcade backed by soldiers and policemen on an election day breaking all known electoral laws. Amaechi tried in vain to subvert the will of Rivers people through personally orchestrated violence, but the people stood up to his anti-democratic antics.
Amaechi is the only outgoing governor that violated the rules on movement on Election Day. He paced round more than five local government areas and several wards on the day of the governorship election with instruments of deadly violence. Amaechi will beat up helpless Rivers people and thereafter cry wolf, which will be given wide publicity because of his deep purse. We sent press releases on these ugly incidences, but they were ignored.
I have taken time to outline the outrageous actions of outgoing governor Amaechi because of the falsehood that the APC media agencies have continued to spew out despite the resounding victory of the PDP and Rivers State Governor-elect. If APC wins an election, it is the will of the people. Where the people vote PDP, the APC media oiled by the likes of Amaechi change the narrative. This APC media intimidation/distortion of facts for their paymasters is the worst threat to the nation’s democracy. Beyond using media agents to discredit the Rivers electoral process, Amaechi has recruited phantom international observers who only ‘observe’ in Rivers State. Their reports written in the cosy rooms of Brick House, Port Harcourt are released in less than 24hours. Meanwhile, the latest false international observer report was written by one of Amaechi’s prominent Oyibo media consultants masquerading as an election monitor.
Amaechi and his governorship candidate should come to terms with the fact that the people of Rivers State have spoken. They can shout on the roof tops as minority voices, but the people have had their way. The spirit of falsehood, orchestration of violence and deliberate generation of tension have been defeated by the Rivers people through their votes. We have successfully defeated Amaechi who thrives in propaganda, violence and tension. Now, Rivers state can blossom.
By the election of Barrister Wike for the first term between 2015 and 2019, the Rivers people have mandated him to create a New Rivers State where a new thinking with better opportunities will prevail. They have given him the challenge to build a state that is truly united, secure and prosperous with boundless opportunities for everyone who lives in it. Wike has been further mandated to actualise the aspirations of Rivers people by creating an environment of balanced development and enhanced quality of life for present and future generations.
This is a task that Wike has been groomed for. He served as chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chief of Staff of Rivers State Government and Minister of State for Education, positions where he left indelible marks on the sands of time. Wike is a recognised performer with compassion for the people, but armed with he political will to defeat the forces of retrogression and enthrone development. He is a focused leader who is not moved by falsehood and propaganda.
One thing is certain; Rivers State will witness unprecedented development under Barrister Wike. Those who have been recruited to mislead Nigerians will soon keep quiet the same way they have been silenced by the collective voice of Rivers people on March 28 and April 11. Indeed, the people of Rivers State have spoken with one voice.
Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (Media) to Wike, wrote this from Port Harcourt