Emergency Rules In Rivers: Inviting Scorpion To A Dinner | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Emergency Rules In Rivers: Inviting Scorpion To A Dinner

Posted: Apr 15, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Dr. Chuks Osuji

Incontestably, Rivers State has been in the news for so long. This could be traced to apparent face up between Rotimi Amaechi, the former Governor of the state and the current State Governor, Nyesome Wike. The root cause of the face up to many could be the parting away of political allegiance when Rotimi began to work against the interests of PDP, the party whose platform he rode to power. Wike who was then Minister of State under Goodluck Jonathan remained loyal to Goodluck Jonathan. Consequent upon this, Rivers State was polarized between the two opposing groups.

What ignited the flames more were the constant attacks and abuses on the then President by Rotimi Amaechi. His head was further swollen with his Chairmanship of Governors’ Forum, an election which he claimed under controversial circumstances. However, the matter became worse, when he began to use the forum to further his new political thinking with arrangement for the formation of APC. Eventually, he joined APC as one of the PDP Governors to jump ship.

With the approaching of the 2015 General Elections, each camp began a serious move to be in control of Rivers State Government. What is more, when Nyesome Wike declared his intention to vie for the Governorship seat in Rivers Sate, obviously, Rotimi intensified his political maneuvering to ensure that Wike did not succeed. On the other hand, Wike in the course of the campaign of last year demonstrated to the people of Rivers state and the people of Nigeria, his political effectiveness as a grassroots person.

When the campaign process began, it was alleged that Amaechi was the strongest supporter of APC in terms of financing the party’s campaign. Many saw his belligerent attitude to be that of an ungrateful person, “who bit the fingers that fed him.”

Definitely, of all the states in his country, Rivers was the only State where political violence was more intense and therefore the stake too high indeed. This even affected other organs of the Government, the judiciary, LGAs etc. the State was virtually very intense.

After all said and done, PDP swept the poll in Rivers State at both the National and State races. The most devastating was the victory of Nyesome Wike as the Governor of State. Unfortunately, APC could not accept this humiliating defeat because of the status of Rotimi in APC. To many objective observers, processes in the election Tribunal, which was moved to Abuja, appeared to be manipulated and the decision of the Election Tribunals at both the Governorship and Legislative levels were greeted with widespread condemnation by many who are not PDP. Consequently, the Appeal Tribunal ordered virtually a new election in ninety eight percent of the legislative seats both the State and National. On the other hand, the Governorship Tribunal equally nullified Wike’s election victory. Fortunately for him, it was through an act of God that he had the let opportunity to go to the Tribunal, hence today, Nyesome Wike is still the Governor of Rivers State. With such decision, Rotimi Amaechi could be seen to have nearly chopped off his manhood organ than to swallow such a bitter pill which he must live with.

The legislative re-run elections were held on MARCH 19TH. And before the re-run, the entire Sate was almost on a war footing as Police and Soldiers could be seen everywhere. This show of shame for power indeed, alarmed Nigerians and the world

With the results so far grudgingly released by INEC, PDP still demonstrated superior popularity over the APC. Even the personal involvement of Rotimi Amaechi and Dagogo Peterside received condemnation as they did everything to snatch victory in Ikwerre Local Government, an incident that caused national embarrassment for the duo politicians.

Thus following a widespread report of violence coupled by the killing of a number of persons including a Youth Corps member, some people have been calling for the declaration of a State of Emergency in Rivers State. Today, after the elections, Rivers State is on the march again with Wike executing his election promises. This of course has not gone down well with Amaechi. He should heed the wise words of Kinsley Elliot who wrote, “Leaders must constantly weigh the depth of their credibility through populace opinion among the electorate.” If Amaechi does that, he will know that any call for Emergency Rule in Rivers State amounts to inviting scorpion to a dinner table.