Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze says former Rivers Governor and immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Governorship candidate of the APC, Pst. Tonye Cole must be commended for displaying a deep sense of civility in the face of very provocative actions by Gov. Nyesom Wike and his thuggish party members who were bent on destroying the state after they had claimed victory over the criminally manipulated March 18 Governorship polls conducted in an atmosphere of violence, intimidation and bloodbath.
Recall that PDP thugs led by the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the Chairman of Ikwerre local government council, masked under protest, barricaded entrance to the state INEC Office to prevent the APC from accessing the necessary electoral materials required to challenge the outcome of the elections in the state.
This they did for several days to barre the APC and her candidates from filling their petitions within the statutorily required period knowing that election petitions are time bound and failure to file within time renders the petition incompetent.
The thugs hiding under the guise of protest physically assaulted Pst. Tonye Cole, Governorship Candidate of the APC and prevented him on several occasions from accessing the State INEC Office. And all of these happened in the presence of policemen mounted around the premises to secure the INEC facility.
At some points, the hoodlums, armed with guns and all manner of weapons and escorted by policemen, marched to the APC State Secretariat, where they destroyed some parts of the office, lowered and destroyed the APC and Nigerian flags and smashed the glasses of some vehicles parked within the premises.
In one of the days, the Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of Ikwerre local government council, kidnapped Barr. Dike alongside some documents he had picked from INEC to aide the case of the APC. He spent some days in the custody of his abductors who later released him but retained the INEC documents.
Recall that some Lawyers retained by the APC had earlier been arrested by the Police alongside their briefs, on the orders of the Governor, for preparing APC petitions at the tribunal. It took the intervention of Nigerians before the police released them.
Before and during the electioneering campaigns, APC supporters across the local government areas suffered gales of attacks from known PDP thugs; campaign grounds were attacked with explosives which in most instances left several persons with various degrees of injuries. In all of these, justice has remained far from being served because the perpetrators had police backing.
If there is one lesson to be learnt from the ugly situation in Rivers State during and shortly after the elections, it would be that the law is a respecter of persons especially those close to power.
On the day of the Governorship election, Chisom Leonard, APC campaign coordinator for Ahoada West local government area, alongside several others were gunned down while trying to stop PDP thugs from snatching ballot boxes and disrupting the electoral process. May the souls of the departed find rest.
It is inhumane for normal human beings to rejoice and hold parties over a victory purchased with human blood in a democracy.
Eze however expressed delight with the peaceful manner in which Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the APC gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Arch. Tonye Cole conducted themselves which he said saved Rivers from sliding into anarchy and assured that the victory of evil over good is just for a little moment.
It is even more baffling to learn that Prof. Yakubu Mahmood could still have the face and audacity to raise layers to defend such a shameful election that has put Nigeria and Nigerians under edge. It is sad and unfortunate that the country still harbors such shameless and dubious character in Public office. “How can things progress with such calibre of people holding leadership position in this country”, Eze queried.
Not withstanding the frustrations suffered by those oppressed by this cabal, Eze said hope is high that God will intervene and deliver his people from bloodsucking monsters masquerading as leaders.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze