The die is cast as the Governorship election holds in Rivers state this weekend.
It was meant to be a walk in the park for the incumbent Governor, Nyesom Wike until the sudden emergence of a potential threat, the unknown Governorship candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Awara Biopkomabo.
Governor Wike had shown his political mastery by dislodging all budding threats to his ambition. Though not confirmed, there is a conspiracy theory that Wike sponsored the crisis that collapsed the main opposition in Rivers State, the All Progressives Congress.
The seed of discord sown in the APC germinated into a lucrative harvest for Governor Wike who seems like the sole beneficiary of the series of Court pronouncements banning the APC from participating or fielding candidates in the 2019 general elections.
Like Macbeth in William Shakespeare’s classic, distinguished Senator Magnus Abe nursed a gubernatorial ambition against the wish of the leader of his party in Rivers State, former Governor Rotimi Amaechi. This decision bred hate and acrimony among party members who used to be family. The party became factionalised with the emergence of two leaders. The rest is history.
Seeing the loophole, the Governor masterfully applied to the Federal High Court to disqualify the APC from participating in the elections. Presiding Judge, Justice James Kolawole Omotosho saw merit in Wike’s application and granted same.
Done with the APC, the Governor extended his manoeuvring to Accord Party, the next potential threat. How Wike lobbied one Precious Barido to dislodge oil magnate, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as the Governorship candidate of Accord is yet to be fathomed by analysts.
Barido also in a Federal High Judgment became the Guber candidate of Accord and then relinquished it by declaring support for Governor Nyesom Wike. Dumo Lulu-Briggs is still grappling with the matter at the Court of Appeal hours to the elections.
Not done, Governor Wike in a sly move factionalised the Social Democratic Party, SDP and its Governorship candidate, Chief Precious Elekima. As at press time, Elekima has no Deputy Governorship candidate because his Deputy, Christopher Udume defected with the majority of the State Executive members of SDP to PDP and then endorsed Governor Wike’s re-election.
But Governor Wike is not having it easy anymore since the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi decided to throw his weight behind the AAC Governorship candidate, Awara Biokpomabo.
Amaechi at a town hall meeting in Eleme Local government area of the state directed all members and supporters of the APC to cast their vote for the young Engineer Biokpmabo.
“This morning, the leadership of the party met and agreed that we would work with a party called African Action Congress (AAC), while we are still in court to reclaim our mandate,” he said.
“So, on Saturday, we will vote for AAC. You must go home and vote for AAC. There should be no excuse not to vote because there will be security for everybody. You must prepare and make sure you win the governorship election.
“The moment the governorship election is won by AAC’s candidate this Saturday and the new governor is inaugurated on May 29, 2019, by June this year, there will be local government’s chairmanship and councillorship elections.
“So, you should all go out and vote and make sure that you are not rigged out,” Amaechi said.
Though the announcement came 72hours to the Governorship election, sources close to the Minister said the agreement was reached at the highest national leadership of the APC early February.
The Minister also directed leaders of the APC at the local government level to adopt suitable candidates of other political parties they will vote for the State House of Assembly seats.
The unknown Awara Biokpomabo has become suddenly famous. You can tell of his unexpected twist in fortune with the extensive security arrangement put in place for him. Biokpomabo now moves with two Sweepers and five truckloads of fully armed security operatives.
Since the announcement was made, Governor Wike in public appearances looks undaunted. The Governor who believes he is “solidly on the ground” has encouraged his supporters not to bother about the development.
At a Town Hall Meeting between the Rivers State Governor and leaders of Rivers East Senatorial District in Bori, Wike told supporters: “Just be vigilant and protect your votes. We have no security with us, but we have the Chief Security Officer of the world on our side.
“If they like they should bring Police, Army and thugs from all over the world, we are quite confident that we shall smile on March 9, 2019. Come out and vote for people you can vouch for”.
“Rivers State is not like any other state. We will not allow a godfather to operate here. Our only Godfather is God “.
Despite those comments, an impeccable source in Government House, Port Harcourt told DAILY POST that Governor Wike is rattled by the impulsive turn of events especially with the massive raids of criminals and their hideouts in different parts of the state. But be sure that the Governor always has something up his sleeves.
Before the last couple of days, the Governorship election in Rivers state was meant to be an easy-breezy for Governor Nyesom Wike but with Amaechi desperate to prove a point, it is now unlikely that Governor Wike will stroll back to Brick House.