By Simeon Nwakaudu
It is now crystal clear that once you are selected as a member of the National Working Committee of the failed All Progressives Congress (APC), you are injected with reckless thoughts and insensitive actions.
Therefore, I was not shocked when I watched the tactless APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu talk trash about Rivers State at a press conference he convened on Wednesday in Abuja.
It is the norm for APC at all levels to become desperate and lawless whenever Rivers State or the leadership of Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is mentioned. Their desperation to circumvent due process is horrible and ungodly.
It is disheartening that the National Headquarters of the APC on National Television endorsed the mayhem, deaths, violence and near-theft of the People's mandate that Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi visited on Rivers State during the March 9, 2019 Governorship Election. That endorsement as conveyed by Issa-Onilu is a historic blunder and a sad affront on the nation's democracy.
Hear Issa-Onilu: “Whatever has happened in Rivers, and whatever Rotimi Amaechi has done, is completely normal and acceptable to this party” .
True, rigging is the official principle of the APC, but must it be at the expense of several lives of Rivers people? True , rigging is the norm for the APC, but must it be at expense of the integrity and respect enjoyed by the Nigerian Army? Agreed that rigging is the only option left for the APC, but must it be at the expense of the sustenance of the nation's democracy?
Issa-Onilu by his reckless endorsement of Amaechi's failed rigging plot gave Nigerians and the International Community insight into the deliberate acts of State Violence unleashed on Rivers people. He said very clearly that Amaechi was given the backing of the party. Therefore, he will not be investigated, neither would he be penalised for the acts of criminality meted out to innocent Rivers people in the calculated attempt to rob them of their mandate.
Issa-Onilu is not the first APC Leader to weep over the loss of Rivers State after the conduct of general elections. The Former National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odighie-Oyegun towed the same line.
After the Supreme Court confirmed the election of Governor Wike in 2016, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun wept:
“We have lost very important resource-rich states to the PDP. No matter how crude oil prices have fallen, it is still the most important revenue earner for the country".
Like Odighie-Oyegun explained, the criminal lust for Rivers State has nothing to do with development. If it was development, nobody would have indicated interest to contest elections in Rivers State because Governor Wike remains the best performing governor in Nigeria, with an unquantifiable capacity to deliver on all fronts.
Therefore, APC leaders from their National Secretariat endorsed the negative use of Federal Might on Rivers people during the 2019 General Elections in order to have illegal access to the resources of the state as they did in 2014/2015 under the failed leadership of the Former Rivers State Governor. As the APC National Leaders smiled to the banks at the expense of Rivers State, workers salaries were left unpaid, projects abandoned and the state economy left in ruins.
Even Amaechi confessed before leaving office. He said the state had become so broke that then incoming Governor Wike would not be able to pay salaries or do projects.
Amaechi said, ”I'm not joking, we have no money anywhere. In Rivers State, no money. I think Nyesom Wike is coming, we are waiting. He will look for money for salary; there is none. But when he pays out salary, we will see if whether they can build the schools, the roads, even to get a loan”.
Governor Wike has revived Rivers State, set it on the path of growth and the state is working again. Salaries and pensions are being paid while projects have been firmly planted in all the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State.
Issa-Onilu should tell Nigerians one APC State Governor, serving or outgoing that would match the projects delivery capacity of Governor Wike. He should bring to the table one APC Governor with a worthy record that can stand the performance of Governor Wike. If APC Governors had performed, they wouldn't have been relying on "Federal Might" to survive the mass votes against the failed party.
About 72 Hours to the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State Assembly elections in Rivers State, Amaechi announced in Eleme that he has the security agencies in his pocket to deliver the APC anointed Candidate. Amaechi asked them to call on their APC Leaders wherever they encountered difficulty , so that the rapid response Squad can intervene. They waited for Rivers people to overwhelmingly vote for PDP, only for these squads of the Nigerian Army and F-SARs to attack several Collation Centres. Rivers people stood firm, insisting that their votes must count.
The most pathetic was the attempt to invade the State Collation Centre on ABA Road. This was done with such recklessness that shamed the entire nation and the black race. This act of brigandage is what the APC National Secretariat is applauding. This act of political robbery is what Issa-Onilu is celebrating on National Television.
Amaechi has continued with his illegal plot against the mandate of Rivers State because the financial rapists at the APC National Secretariat are urging him to forge ahead. Without the unreasonable support of "Federal Might", there is no way that Amaechi would have continued to fund protests and other subversive activities when it is clear that their illegal candidate has lost.
Is Issa-Onilu aware that the Former Rivers AAC Deputy Governorship Candidate, Chief Akpo Bomba Yeeh has withdrawn after he concluded that he won't be party to the plot to enslave Rivers State? Nobody expects Issa-Onilu and his co-travellers at the APC National Secretariat to care, after all they are lusting after the resources of the state and the end, no matter how illegal, should justify the means.
We know the APC National Secretariat to be populated by persons who hardly consider the humanity of other Nigerians. However, this reckless defence of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi by Issa-Onilu is a new low. If a man has nothing to say, it is best to tell the media "no comment ". Otherwise, to attempt to trivialise Amaechi's criminal activities in Rivers State is a route no right-thinking person should struggle to travel.