How I would love to have my people the Kalabari produce the next governor of Rivers State. It would be their first despite their seminal role in the development of Rivers State but to my disappointment, the challenge being mounted by the Kalabari aspirants in the PDP has given me no reason to sustain that hope. Though I love Dr. Peter Odili, there is no doubt that the Kalabaris suffered a severe set back in his governorship years, due largely to the wrong turns taken by some Kalabari politicians who had the power to make a difference at the time.
This is a big subject for another day but it is noteworthy that one of the Kalabari governorship aspirants who was Rotimi Amaechi’s contemporary in the service of Peter Odili is presently staging his gubernatorial challenge from an outsider’s position and without the depth of pocket that he should be enjoying, if the Kalabaris had not lost their dominant trajectory in the Odili first term. The desperate state of Kalabari politics can perhaps be most eloquently underlined by the reality that right now, the only hope for a Rivers governorship of Ka
labari extraction is the dimming hypothesis that Jonathan, being an Izon might not be immune to a sense of responsibility which Izon elders will point out, not to miss the opportunity of his presidency to make a Kalabari man, governor of Rivers State; Kalabari being the largest Izon community in Rivers State. For this reason, the First Lady Patience Jonathan has been getting some stick for her support for a Wike ticket.
Read: Only Jonathan can stop Wike. https://andybriggsreport.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/only-jonathan-can-stop-wike/
Amaechi stalwarts no longer deny that their leader’s worst political move was elevating Wike to chief of staff. To some, it was as bad as a deal made with the devil. Perhaps, Amaechi may finally escape the disastrous effect of that move through the agency of another figure whom he had elevated the same day to Secretary of the State Government (SSG).
There is hardly any doubt now that if the Rivers State PDP goes to the gubernatorial primary, the way it is presently constituted that it will be a rout for candidate Nyesom Wike. The other candidates will not have a prayer. Wike is a minister of the Federal Government, a buddy to the state party chairman, if not his master. He has appropriated the title of party leader, he controls those who will control the process for accreditation of delegates to the primary and his budget for inducement of delegates dwarfs the sum of the total budget of his rivals for the party ticket. Wike is a Rivers PDP god and increasingly an Ikwerre bulldozer.
There is only one politician in the Amaechi camp who has accumulated enough influence and savvy to give Wike a hell of a fight. Though Amaechi could not see the future when he made Wike chief. He may have unwittingly taken out insurance by making Wike’s antidote the SSG. If Wike is smart, Abe is probably smarter but not as aggressive. Wike is single-minded, Abe is pragmatic. Wike can repel sensitive people, Abe is more discerning. Wike has executive government experience, Abe has executive and legislative government experience. Wike will probably crush people’s civil rights including press freedom. Abe is more comfortable with deploying oratory and a superior argument. Wike is apoplectic and blustery. Abe is a natural orator and communicator. Now, w
hatever chunk of Ikwerre that Wike may prise away from Amaechi is neutralized by a bloc Ogoni vote for an Abe on his way to the governorship. The votes of the Kalabari and other riverine bastions become decisive in such a scenario.
Personally, I think that Abe is a man who is bound by his word. There are many who lack integrity and are giddy with arrogance. I would be comfortable having a pact with Abe. He is not a pushover but he is a decent man. This is a reporter’s opinion since I am neither a member of the APC nor the PDP.