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Rivers election countdown: Who will laugh last tomorrow, Amaechi or Wike?

– Will Amaechi or Wike triumph in the Rivers state House of Assembly re-run?

– The former governor Rotimi Amaechi received the first major political blow of his political career when the Supreme Court upheld the governorship election victory of Governor Nyesom Wike a few weeks ago

– Governor Wike was a political neophyte in Rivers about 10 years ago

– The battle lines have been drawn between the two political titans of Rivers state politics

Several lives have been reported lost in political clashes ahead of the Saturday, March 19 House of Assembly re-run election in Rivers state. Rivers state leads all the other states of the federation in terms of political-related assassinations, political thuggery, electoral malpractice and other election-related offences.

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Although there have been accusations and counter-accusations between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the heartless, inhumane and gruesome murder and beheading of the 28-year-old APC chairman of Ward 4, Frankline Obi, as reported on Thursday, March 17 in the dailies in Rivers state, is too bitter a pill to be swallowed. The blood-thirsty assailants also murdered Obi’s pregnant wife and his son. Politics of this nature should be condemned by all and sundry.

Obi’s pathetic murder is one among the many incidents of assassinations that have occurred, and may still happen in the state, if drastic and urgent security measures are not taken by the various security agencies.

amaechi or wike

Governor Nyseom Wike (L) and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi (R)

The two political gladiators drank from the same political gourd, before personal aspirations and vendetta, separated them.

Rotimi Amaechi, the current minister of transport, has been hovering on the political stage in Rivers since his early twenties. He worked with various politicians before he rose through the ranks. He was to referred to as Right Honourable (Rt Hon), because he held the speakership position of the Rivers state House of Assembly between 1999 and 2007.

He fought his first real political war when the former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo prevented him from securing the governorship ticket of his then party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). When his case went to the Supreme Court he received a favourable judgement, after which he was made governor without campaigning or voting.

Amaechi jumped off the PDP’s ship, when he felt he was unfairly treated. He joined the APC, after failed reconciliation moves between the new-PDP and the mainstream PDP. The rest they say, is history.

According to Amanze Obi, while comparing both Amaechi and Wike, in his Thursday, March 17 Article in Daily Sun, titled, Judgement day in Rivers state, he said:

He (Rotimi Amaechi), and Wike, had played the turf game together in the past. One is as rugged as the other. Thus, while Amaechi was luxuriating over the point he scored, Wike was busy perfecting a counterpoise.

“Amaechi’s celebration was short-lived. He threw a faint-heart jab at Wike. But the governor replied with an uppercut. That saw Amaechi groveling. The Supreme Court upheld Wike as the validly elected governor of Rivers state. But Wike’s triumph was incomplete.  His lieutenants did not have the advantage of a Supreme Court intervention (to secure a favourable judgement regarding the House of Assembly election). The Appeal Court, the last point of call for state elections matters, had ordered re-run elections for the cancelled seats. It is yet another occasion, for the combatants, to test their political strengths.

“Amaechi and Wike, are at each other’s throat. They are fighting the political battle of their lives.

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Going a bit into Wike’s meteoric political rise, the lawyer-turned politician is a dogged political fighting machine. Amaechi himself gave life to Wike’s political career after he served the state judiciously. Amaechi was said to have recommended Wike to the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, for ministerial a appointment. Fortunately for Wike, he was made the minister of state for education. As Wike moved on as minister, he went into the good books of Patience Jonathan, who adopted him as her political son. It was during this period that Amaechi and Patience had a fractured relationship, which in turn favoured Wike’s political career the more.

As the governorship election season drew nearer, Wike got Patience’s anointing. He secured the PDP’s governorship ticket, despite hues and cries from his fellow contestants. Regardless of allegations of massive electoral fraud and rigging, Wike defeated Dakuku Peterside of the APC at the polls in 2015, and got his victory finally upheld by the Apex Court in Nigeria.

Governor Wike has been speaking tough ahead of tomorrow’s election. He is warning all those who care to listen, in spite of criticism by a good number of Nigerians that he is beating the drums of war. The governor said he will not be cowed by any politician who is coming to Rivers to rig the polls. In his words, he said:

“If you are coming to conduct election freely, come and conduct election. But if you’re coming to say you want to rig election, you must have prepared your will. So, when people say, I threatened, I never threatened violence. No! All I said, if you’re coming to rig, you’re like armed robber. Anything that happens to armed robber, will happen to you.”

The post Rivers election countdown: Who will laugh last tomorrow, Amaechi or Wike? appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

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