‘A Lot Of Lies Have Been Told About Rivers Tribunal Rulings’
What is your reaction to the tribunal verdicts that nullified the election of Governor Wike, and 20 PDP House of Assembly members?
The only thing I know is that as law- abiding citizens, we will continue to obey the law. We will work within the ambit of the law. Yes, the tribunal has given judgment. I have the right of appeal as well as other affected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. The tribunal did not sack any member of the Assembly, rather it gave judgment and part of the judgment directed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) should conduct a rerun within 90 days. The judgment by implication does not take any affected member out of the Assembly. This is because by law we have 21 days to appeal the judgment.
That is the law and we have indicated our interest to appeal against the judgment of the lower tribunal.
If at the end, the outcome leads to a rerun of the election, do you have any hope of still emerging the winner as well as other PDP candidates including the governor who lost out in the lower tribunal?
It is obvious that Governor Nyesom Wike is doing what the people want. So we are not bothered about the development. We will always triumph. Some of your supporters have argued that Rivers is a PDP State but there are PDP states like Benue, and Plateau that lost out to APC during the last general elections, are you not perturbed that it is possible in Rivers?
There are combinations of factors that assist one to achieve victory. If you review the timeline when the 4th republic came into existence, you should know that Rivers State is a PDP State. When you are undertaking comparative studies, you compare with indices, the whole idea that State A was a PDP state, but lost to APC, that is not how to compare in politics.
We have what we call comparative studies or comparative politics. There are indices that you look out for when you are doing such comparism.
First, you look at the geography, culture and sensitivity of the people. These are intervening variables people will always give consideration to when they are voting for a platform. When you review the timeline, you will find out that abinitio, PDP has been winning elections in Rivers State.
Again look at the personality of the governor of Rivers State. Look at his mindset, vision, and dream. They are all inline with what the people of Rivers State want. The governor likes making people happy and comfortable. He is one man that likes to find himself in the midst of his people. He knows his people and his people know him.
Leadership and followership is a two- way thing. For instance, you believe that I can do something for you and you give me your mandate, and in turn the goodwill you have extended to me. I am returning the same goodwill to you so that it will give you further impetus to believe in me. There are things that are real, you do not need to be in the spirit to see and acknowledge them.
In addition, if you drive the stretch of Borokiri, you will hear the new song. So, all am saying is that in comparative politics, there are indices to look out for when comparing but if you generalize it, the inference that you will get will be wrong. You must have a sound premise to do such in order to bring you to a logical conclusion.
It has been alleged that the 2015 general elections in Rivers State was characterized with violence. People have expressed fear that should there be a rerun, the state maybe thrown into chaotic situation again, or is there any assurance for peace this time?
In a society, you have all manner of people. There are those I can classify as pathological faultfinders. They do not see anything good even in good leadership. Even when you extend goodwill to them, they do not see anything good; such I classify as pathological faultfinders. Therefore, even when you take governance and leadership to the peak, they will not see anything good because their mindset is different.
Prof. Atahiru Jega, the then chairman of INEC once addressed a press conference where he declared that the elections in Rivers State was free and fair. So Jega has said so what else can I say. I do not like preempting situations that have not arrived.
I am not a security agent, neither do I work in any security agency, but as a peace loving Nigerian, it is my hope that having experienced relative peace since this administration assumed office, we should expect further peace than what we have today. I am not anticipating that we will be going into election, because I am not a judge. For every society to prosper and develop, peace is key. That is why this government has placed primacy on the issue of security. You couldn’t have been here if the environment is not secure and peaceful, you will be afraid to even carry out your legitimate duty. Therefore, if there was peace during the 2015 elections, there will also be peace when a man of peace is in position. Democracy has to do with majority.
When the majority of people are happy, it is the foundation of peace. The foundation of the peace we are experiencing today in the state is because the majority number of people including non-indigenes are happy with what is happening.
But most of the PDP supporters are already engaging the APC supporters in war of words, don’t you think it will instigate crisis?
I feel a lot of lies have been told to the public about the tribunal ruling. I don’t live a false life. I am a realist, I don’t believe in utopian situation. What you find today even scripturally, it was proved by St. Paul in the scripture and according the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, people do things due to stomach infrastructure, even when you know that this is truth, you will not say it, you tell lies because of your stomach. So the type of argument you find in our society in most cases, the social media contains a lot of lies.
Take for instance, Hon Ikunyi Ibani, there was no time the tribunal sacked me from office or any member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, but that lie was told to the public.
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