Rivers will always stand out for all the wrong reasons. In the build up to the 2015 elections, the State was the official slaughter house of the country. Over a hundred people were killed in the most gruesome manner you can ever imagine. I captured most of the gory details of that period and the political fallouts in my book, “Bloody Match to Power.”
In this election cycle, the State is again on the match. At least, not less that 20 people, including soldiers and police officers have been killed so far. March 9 elections will be the grand finale. A few more will pay the ultimate price. Already, the army is rolling in their tanks to help calm the situation down.
But Rivers is a war zone. The folks there fear nothing. Nothing whatsoever. They play with deadly weapons as if they are toys. And death means nothing to them. Rivers is not just about political controversies, it is about blood flowing on the street. Is it militancy or is it cultism? You have it in abundance. The place is a modern day Assyria.
APC in tatters.
In 2015, APC was new in the State. Then Governor Amaechi and his followers had ported from the PDP to the APC. That was the beginning of an epic battle that almost consumed that State. Rivers is traditionally a “PDP State.”
Four years on, the APC has become weaker than what it was in 2015 due to self inflicted internal crisis. For the 2019 elections the party has been barred by the courts from fielding candidates for ALL elective posts-a historic situation.
Despite that, the party members have refused to sheathe their swords. They are all over Facebook taking jabs at each other and accusing each other of being responsible for the grand disaster.
Now to save face, a faction of the APC in Rivers has decided to vote for the Governorship candidate of the African Action Congress, Biokpomabo Awara, because “the party (AAC) fits into the quest of the APC to give Rivers people justice.”
Will Rivers’ people vote for Mr. Awara? Very unlikely!
APC can not even muster enough votes from it’s own members to kick start the kind of momentum that will deliver a black horse like Mr. Awara. Meanwhile, AAC leadership says it has nothing to do with any endorsement of its guber candidate by APC. Rivers’ APC has become a floating debris.
If the APC had thrown it’s weight, if there is still any left, behind a little more viable Lulu Briggs of the Accord Party, there may be a fighting chance of making a little impact. Some impact, not even a win.
But What about Wike?
Up until now, Governor Wike has been the sole reaper of the benefits of the crisis rocking the APC. He may just be on his way to a free ride second term. But he has one more hurdle to cross. Today, March 8, an Abuja High Court will be delivering a judgment in the case of false age declaration brought against Governor Wike.
If that judgment is against Wike, Rivers governorship election would be tossed into a wind storm as he too would be barred from contesting the election. So, today, all eyes and ears are primed at the decision of the Abuja court.
However, PDP unlike APC may still be on the ballot. How to fill in a new candidate if Wike is disqualified and PDP wins the gubernatorial election will become a matter for INEC and the courts to decide.