By Akanimo Sampson
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is currently taking a seemingly spiritual approach to the ongoing electioneering by his party – the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to oust President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, from power in this year’s general elections.
For him, the war to stop what he described as ‘’developmental darkness’’ starts on February 16, insisting that, “we must defeat darkness during that election. Our business to defeat darkness is solemn.’’
PDP has been particularly worried by the seeming deviation from the norm Nigeria borrowed from the Western world. There, their model of government involves a parliamentary democracy or party system. In the United Kingdom for instance, safeguards against political tyranny include the established existence of a constitutional monarchy, an upper house, a separate judiciary and legal system, and accountable law enforcement agencies.
While such a system has been operating for a long time, and still seems adequate, representing an advanced degree of social maturity, in Nigeria, the alleged dictatorship of the Buhari administration of the APC, is a matter of serious concern to pro-democracy activists and the opposition PDP.
Often, a spiritually-informed politics takes into account the intense cohesive power of institutions and systems of politics to assimilate even major shifts in circumstances. With a vast majority of citizens facing severe economic and social challenges, the obviously marginalised tends to be finding a way to fulfill their needs and obtaining the essentials; especially food, shelter, safety, education, and healthcare, meeting too their needs for occupation, and recreation.
For those who know better, the spiritual approach to politics considers all these basic needs as paramount. But, is Governor Wike providing all these in Rivers?
While that could be debatable, ahead of the presidential election this February 16, the seemingly combative governor is calling on the citizenry to put an end to the developmental darkness allegedly foisted on the country by the Federal Government under the watch of President Buhari’s APC.
Wike, who was speaking at a PDP campaign rally at Opobo-Nkoro Local Government Area, said that the country cannot miss this opportunity to make progress and accordingly charged the people to remain vigilant as the APC and her associates are allegedly plotting to steal votes.
“We have come here to tell you to be vigilant because armed robbers are on the prowl to steal mandate and votes. We must stop them. The APC are armed robbers on ground to steal votes and manipulate the elections. We must not allow them,” he said.
The Governor urged the youths and women to work for the victory of all PDP candidates because the future of the state will be handed over to them. He said Women and Youths will take over 65 percent of all appointments during his second term, noting that power has come back to the people as 142 leaders will emerge from the 142 polling units of the local government area.
Holding the key presented to him by the Jaja of Opobo, Dandeson Douglas, the re-election seeking governor said that the political growth of any politician will be premised on electoral victory at the polling unit, and then described the day as one of his happiest moments. He said fulfilling the promise he made to the king in 2014 has encouraged him to do more for his people.
Wike however, assured that he will continue to fulfill promises all through his second term because it gives him joy to make the people happy.
PDP State Chairman, Felix Obuah, while claiming that the welcome reception by the council of chiefs signifies the victory of Wike in the area, presented the party’s candidate for Rivers South-East, Barry Mpigi, that of Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency, Awaji Abiante, as well as that of Opobo-Nkoro State Constituency, Adonyi Diri to the people and asked them to vote them.
While Diri said the governor’s visit was to fulfill all righteousness because Wike has massively developed the area, Education Commissioner, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, said the peoples of Opobo-Nkoro are celebrating the high performance of the governor and his connection of the town to the rest of the state.
Even as he added that Opobo-Nkoro will never vote for a party that desecrated the kingship of the area, a Commissioner in the state Civil Service Commission, Mrs Sotonye Toby Fulton, said the women and youths will work for the re-election of Wike.