While the APC holds power at the federal level, the party is slowly fading away in Rivers, having suffered a total wipe-out at the governorship and legislative elections by hook and crook. Governor Nyesom Wike is taking over. He has collected N30 billion in loans but this has provided hope of getting paid for civil servants owed in the final months of the Amaechi administration. Civil servants form the majority of voters in Rivers State. Those who are attacking Wike for borrowing N30 billion in thirty days are now in danger of alienating civil servants whose hope of getting their April-May salary has become tied to Wike’s loan. The civil service will ultimately throw its weight behind the man who pays their wages.
Wike’s people are taking over every department of the Rivers State Government. The Rivers House of Assembly is almost entirely PDP. It has no minority leader. Justice Daisy Okocha now rules the judiciary. The only challenge still threatening Wike’s increasing hold on the state is the suit at the Rivers State election tribunal filed by the Rivers APC gubernatorial candidate Hon. Dakuku Peterside. The case has never looked good for Wike. No one can rule out the probability that this case may go against him. If Wike loses, the best that Dakuku Peterside can get out of it would be a governorship re-run. A glimmer of hope is better than none. The bad news is that Wike’s ally from the camp of Secondus would be the acting governor for the three month period it would take to conduct another governorship poll.
The good news for Wike is that Dakuku Peterside’s public profile has retreated considerably since May 29 while Wike has taken center stage. While the DAP media machinery has packed up, Wike has taken over the Rivers State Government Press. There is no level playing field anymore. The Amaechi camp is also being degraded by the propaganda of a hostile administration. First, Amaechi was tagged a looter. Then the allegedly armoured Lexus SUV of his information commissioner Ibim Semenitari was seized to provide proof of the Wike administration’s effort at recovering government property allegedly looted by Amaechi administration officials. Finally, Wike swung into high gear by setting up a panel of inquiry to investigate Amaechi’s financial activities. It seemed like a fight to the finish but two weeks after Wike inaugurated the panel, not much has been heard of it. This is hardly surprising as it would have taken a lot of doing to extricate Wike from many notorious financial activities rooted in the Amaechi first term administration.
Perhaps Wike is more interested in degrading Amaechi’s profile to diminish his influence in the Buhari’s administration and the clout he might wield in a possible governorship re-run. He understands that once Amaechi is leashed, Dakuku Peterside would be quite lost.