Like a big (but not that big) group of hostages, oscillating between hope of escape and fear, the mood of top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State since the supreme court’s reinstatement of Chibuike Amaechi as governor has been swinging between gloom and elation.
Even by PDP standards, where rhetoric and reality leads separate lives, the conflicting signals from the party on Chibuike Amaechi’s return to the fold could best be described as blurred and at worst disturbing.
On the face value, the purported re-admittance of Amaechi by the PDP may be taken as part of the party’s nationwide reconciliation and in that case, it looks like a welcomed development. However, the confusing drum beats from the party is making it more difficult for non-politicians to fully agree that the party is actually bent on full reconciliation.
The same PDP, at the same time in the same state, has been reported to be aggressively negotiating with minor political parties with cases in the election tribunal for “capacity building” to strengthen their cases against Amaechi.
Except the Rivers state PDP has split into two factions or there are some people somewhere fanning the current amber of conflicting signals, the electorate should not pretend that such maneuvering does not portend serious danger to the both the polity and the people of the state.
To say that the above allegation carries heavy weight is an understatement because if it is true that some money bags in the PDP especially those top officers of the two immediate past administrations have concluded plans to fund and ‘settle’ some of the minor parties’ governorship candidates in the last April poll against Amaechi, then there may be a well thought-out mischief that may threaten the existing fragile peace in the state.
Until the Action Congress (AC) gubernatorial candidate and his party decided to join the proposed unity government in the state few days ago, the PDP’s alleged double game plan was maintained as a clandestine operation. Princewill claimed he agreed to join Amaechi in the proposed unity government in Rivers state because of what he described as “the recent interest a powerful clique has shown based on the ouster of Omehia’s administration in Rivers State to see to the termination of Hon. Amaechi’s administration.
“When this new dangerous dimension was introduced and knowing very well how deadly this clique can be when frustrated, it becomes unwise to play along with any scheme that will bring the clique back into power in Rivers State either by proxy or direct participation thereby enslaving our people once again in the hands of this deadly clique.”
The revelation by the AC candidate that this powerful clique in the PDP gave them three juicy options to dissuade AC from pulling out its petition at the election tribunal was not only startling (if it is true) but an indication of how far our politicians can go to continue to enslave the entire peoples of the state.
“They promised to provide us with hundreds of millions of Naira in order to successfully execute the Tribunal case and enough funds to make us comfortable throughout our lives on earth and offset any debt we may have incurred in executing our political programmes in Rivers State. To us this is absurd and totally against the principles that attracted us to politics.” Haba!
If the AC allegation has some iota of truth in it then the Rivers people should view with utmost suspicion the sudden renewal and re-invigoration of interests by some political minors to push their cases at the election tribunal and even at the law court.
Could there be some truths in the allegations that the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Labour Party and most of the mushroom political parties in the State have been lined up for a “capacity building programme” of this ‘clique’ by continuing with their Election Tribunal cases with only one aim: betray and/or frustrate Amaechi’s candidacy and victory at the apex court or at least distract him from concentrating on his rulership?
As alleged: All the mushroom parties will be assisted to withdraw all their key witnesses and crucial documents earlier submitted to the tribunal and replace them with some unemployed Lawyers to make their case before the Tribunal feeble and weak in order to strengthen the case of only one of the contending parties either the DPP or Labour.
Under the same programme, Labour Party’s candidate has allegedly been encouraged to appeal against the squashing of his earlier petition by the tribunal. He will be assisted to “build the capacity” to get favourable ruling at the appellate court which obviously is still nursing its image dent by Amaechi’s victory at the Supreme Court. With that mindset, the Labour Party has filed an appeal in court to compel the tribunal to hear his case.
These new steps as alleged by the AC “clearly shows that the ‘clique in PDP’ is very much interested to see that the Rivers state governorship election is annulled in order for them to fashion out their new game plan of supporting another stooge to take over power in the run off election in the State to continue with their shameless pillaging of our common patrimony – to us this is a very dangerous conspiracy against Action Congress and the entire people of Rivers State and God forbid that we shall be part of such an evil conspiracy.”
The dangerous aspect of the unfolding political mischief in the state lies in the alleged plan by the clique which refers to themselves as the “authentic PDP” to expose certain documents to prove that there was no election in Rivers State as earlier stated by the European Union and International Election Monitoring Groups.
The clique allegedly plans to give some documents to the selected stooge governorship aspirant in the last poll, to show that all the results of the gubernatorial election in Rivers state were actually written by six people. This sounds as ridiculous as it is interesting.
The question is: what would happen if the Rivers state PDP (authentic) releases the alleged documents, whether fake or authentic to show that the governorship election was rigged in the state and the result was actually prepared inside the PDP secretariat and/or at the Government House, Port Harcourt?
This question may look foolish now, but supposing we get to the point where it becomes necessary? Would anybody in the PDP (no matter how highly placed) be so foolish to own-up to fraudulently writing the election results outside the electoral commission? This entire matter may ultimately turn out to be God’s way of answering the prayers of the Rivers people for a quick and easy exposure of all those that has troubled our people.
Meanwhile, the other side of this entire political moonlight play may also be interesting. Yes, agreed that parties like DPP and Labour had resuscitated their previously dead cases, could it be possible that the powerful PDP clique is not sponsoring them and that the governorship candidates of these two parties may be using pretence of pursuing their cases in addition to blackmail to trick Amaechi’s government into a negotiation?
This is another serious angle to the ongoing campaigns and rumour mongering in the state. It is not out of place for the candidates of some of the minor political parties who are scared that Amaechi may not consider them serious enough for any deal, to set out to confuse the people with baseless insinuations. Only time would tell.
The only unfortunate aspect of the unholy politics is the real danger that Governor Amaechi’s attention would be divided between addressing pressures coming from the political quarters and the highly needed business of bringing succour to the real people of Rivers state who have been robbed, deprived and insulted for over eight years since the inception of the current democratic dispensation.
The only thing the Rivers people want now is peace and a focused leader for a total paradigm shift from the selfish and corruption-ridden status quo. The governor who is currently enjoying massive and unprecedented support from the people of the state should endeavour at all cost not to fail the people again.
And for him achieve any meaningful development different from the media hype of the last two previous administrations, Amaechi must be weary of “wolfs in sheep skin” as he constitutes his new cabinet. All the people presently hanging and lobbying for appointment in the governor’s cabinet, on good authourity, were also part of the two failed teams.
Your Excellency: beware of dogs!
Whatever happens, events of the next few weeks will give clear light to some of these allegations and alleged political maneuverings. The next few weeks obviously will help the Rivers people make sense out of the present nonsense in the political arena of the state.
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