Wike’s ambition unsettles Rivers PDP

Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), a socio-cultural organisation of the Ogoni, has warned that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may lose votes from the oil-rich but highly impoverished kingdom if the next Governor of Rivers State does not come from that axis.
Last week, state chairman of the party, Felix Obuah, was alleged to have at a public function at Ahoada East endorsed the candidature of Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, as a governorship material come 2015, a development that sparked off anger among the Ogoni.
Obuah has, however, denied ever endorsing the minister, explaining that he was merely making reference to an abandoned stadium project to the effect that “the in-coming Governor from our party (PDP) will build a 50,000 capacity stadium for the Ahoada people.”
Obuah said neither himself nor the party has endorsed any candidate for governorship, promising that he would make the political space free for everybody irrespective of ethnic nationality in the state.
“Nobody has endorsed Wike. He has not even told anybody that he will contest the governorship. I was misquoted by that newspaper (not Daily Independent). Every ethnic group has the right to agitate for governorship including the Ogoni,” Obuah said.
Describing the statement credited to Obuah as “a sentimentally disappointing approach representing a huge conspiracy against the Ogoni gubernatorial move that is of grave concern,” MOSOP said the action was “an appalling and shameful response to our quest.”
Responding to the statement, President of MOSOP, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, said “the deed in our view, is not only a deliberate infringement on fairness but also politically inept, insensitive and unfortunate.
“It is clear that the Ogoni governorship quest is most popular and widely and overwhelmingly supported within and outside Rivers State.
“The PDP would be losing a golden opportunity to monopolise and secure to its electoral advantage the huge Ogoni voting strength if it fails to commit her platform to any Ogoni seeking to govern Rivers State in 2015.
“The sustained unguarded and inflammable utterances and actions of the PDP state chairman, demonstrably betrays a devious attempt at scuttling Ogoni political interest and it is unacceptable.
“If the untoward development is not addressed, it would require inflexible Ogoni response.
“We are aware that Chief Obuah is acting a script, as we know the forces at play. However, the stance reflects an implicit admission of what we have all along been suspecting.
“Again, is it not unfair that while Rivers West and East senatorial districts have produced Governors of the state under a zoning understanding, efforts are being made to deny Rivers South East Senatorial District of the opportunity others have enjoyed?”
MOSOP insisted that Obuah and Wike’s intention to scuttle the political understanding in the state is anti-Ikwerre and the party.
The group, however, said it would pursue the governorship project with the same “vigour, collectivity and articulation with which it fought environmental injustice in addition to effective mobilisation of the Ogoni society.”
Meanwhile, another group, Rivers People’s Forum (RPF), has dismissed as laughable and ridiculous reports that Wike said that for peace to return to Rivers State, the suspended Obio-Akpor local council chairman and councilors must be recalled.
The group in a statement by its President, Charles Bekwele, said the minister is in no position to give anyone conditions, insisting on its earlier call that Wike must be arrested and prosecuted for threatening the peace and people of Rivers State.
“It is sad, very sad and unfortunate that Wike who has been certified to be a danger to democracy, who has openly threatened the peace and people of Rivers State is still being allowed to roam the streets and make further inciting comments.
“Who does he (Wike) think he is, to say the suspended Obio-Akpor council executive must be recalled for peace to return to Rivers State?
“For crying out loud, these people were suspended for monumental fraud and a serving minister is saying they should be recalled just like that, without any investigations! This clearly shows the world the kind of character Wike is.
“It shows that he loves and enjoys corruption, and even thrives in it,” the statement said.

Daily independent
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