By Godwin Anene
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Sunday came hard on the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alh. Bola Tinubu for promoting politics of ‘godfatherism.’
Wike particularly vowed that 2019 elections would afford the people of River State the golden opportunity to end the dictatorial influence of godfathersm of Amaechi and others, saying that such trade could only thrive in South-West area of the country.
The governor’s comment has drew criticism from the Rivers chapter of the APC, saying that Wike is a beneficiary of ‘godfatherism’ and would squarely lost the 2019 governorship election in the state.
Speaking during dedication of the 2019 PDP Campaigns at the Cathedral Church of Saint, Port Harcourt, Wike said “it is only in South-West that a political godfather can usurp the mandate of the people.”
He boasted that such trends can’t thrive in Rivers as the people of the state vehemently reject it.
According to him, “If you allow Rivers to be like one of the South-West states, we will all suffer for it. Luckily for us, we don’t speak one language. Therefore, it is very difficult for any leader from an ethnic nationality to control the entire state. In South-West, a godfather said something against a sitting governor and it happened.”
While praying God to grant INEC and security personnel the courage to follow their constitutional duties, he particularly urged men of the Nigeria Police not to be allowed to be used for election rigging, saying that the people of Rivers will resist any attempt to rig the exercise.
“Police should not be professionals in rigging of the elections. We will resist any attempt to rig and votes of the people must count. APC led Federal Government could deploy soldiers to manipulate the 2019 elections, but it will fail as they did in 2015 and 2016 rerun elections”, the governor stressed.
Rivers PDP Campaigns, he stressed, would be issue based, relying on the achievements of the administration, especially the planting of key projects in all localities, to convince the people for another mandate.
You’re a product of godfathersm, APC replies Wike
However, APC in reaction to the governor’s comment said Governor Wike knows very well he is a product of what he is condemning, saying that APC will win Rivers in the forthcoming elections irrespective of any plot by the governor.
Reacting through the Publicity Secretary of APC, Chris Finebone, the party said, “Nothing can be farther from the truth than what Wike said. Is Wike saying he was a product of such alleged dictatorial tendency when he emerged as Chief of Staff to then Governor Amaechi in 2007?
“Wike will lose the 2019 election on the first ballot. There’s no two ways to it and he knows it. It is possible that he has already conditioned himself to that reality and merely talking tough just to cover up his true state of mind.
“APC in Rivers State has a governorship and full compliments of candidates for the 2019 general elections. Wike likes to amuse himself with morbid jokes as part of his circus show he calls politics.”