Why APC lost in Rivers

Amaechi

Amaechi

The PDP had governed Rivers uninterrupted between 1999 to 2013 when the then governor, Chibuike Amaechi, decamped to the APC. But then power returned to the PDP in 2015. The strength of party is in its numbers and this made it possible for the party to reach every constituent in the state to canvas for votes. I doubt if the APC possess the same numbers as the PDP who worked really hard to win voters back with their grassroots going around canvassing support”

Hopes by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, to clinch some seats in the just concluded state and national assemblies polls, has turned out catastrophic for the party.

So far, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, has been declared winner in eleven state constituencies namely; Port Harcourt Akuku Toru 1, Omuma, Degema, Ahoada East 1, Ahaoda East 2, Emohua, Akuku – Toru 2, Obio- Akpor 1, Obio-Akpor 2 and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni. The APC secured the Opobo constituency.

The election that had generated so much tension in the state was characterized by widespread violence, diversion of electoral materials and intimidation. Hence, the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend polls in: Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai, Eleme, Etche and Asari-Toru local government areas.

The rerun elections was necessitated by a Court of Appeal judgment which nullified the 22 House of Assembly, 12 House of Representatives and 3 senatorial seats won by the PDP in the March and April 2015 general election, following a petition by the APC challenging the results declared by INEC.

In the run-up to the elections, the APC was hoping that a good performance in some of the state and national assemblies constituencies could help it push its way through back to the corridors of power in Rivers State. But then, Governor Nyesom Wike, who was not a candidate in the polls, had fought hard to ensure that this does not happen because an APC in-road in the state legislature would have been a major setback to his firm grip on power.

But as the dust raised by the keenly contested combative elections settles, and the APC absorbs the results, it has to come to terms with the reality that the political dynamics in the state has changed.

Cognisance that the electorates most times would not evaluate a political party based on his party’s manifesto, but that they vote according to how they feel about a particular candidate, Governor Wike had consciously since the assumption of office in May 2015, attempted to address issues of infrastructural decay and delay in the payment of workers salaries which the past APC-led government in the state failed to tackled before it exited power.

While some of the APC candidates were indeed electable people, their party misread the sentiments on ground in the state. The APC also came late into campaign frenzy and appeared ill-prepared for the contest.

From the beginning to the end of their campaigns, the party was not really focused on issues of governance and on the candidates of the ruling party, but was busy castigating the state government. By failing to effectively campaign, the APC squandered the chance to seize power from the PDP.

Besides kicking off its campaigns late, APC hinged its confident to wrest political party from the ruling PDP solely on the Minister of Transportation and immediate past governor of the state, Chibuike Amaechi.

Considering the PDP’s popularity in Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor councils, Governor Wike, awrae that the rural areas were likely going to be the real battleground in elections, spent considerable time since the polls were annulled to mobilise PDP supporters using the caretaker council chairmen.

The Supreme Court judgment, which validated Governor Wike’s victory in the 2015 governorship further, served as a morale booster for the PDP ahead of the re-run polls.

Prior to the polls, the PDP had attempted to taint the past administration as corrupt, hinging it on Amaechi administration’s inability to pay workers salaries and address the decaying infrastructural deficits before exiting office. Following vitriol verbal attacks between Wike and Amaechi, PDP had created the impression in the minds of the people that there was going to be massive deployment of security apparatus on the election day to pave way for INEC to subvert the will of people. The APC, however, did not adequately counter PDP’s propaganda.

A political analyst, Mr. Steve Woke, told The Guardian that the PDP had been successful at creating doubt in the hearts of its supporters and voters, causing them to feel that the election will be rigged, hence, the resistance seen in four Ogoni councils namely Eleme, Khana, Gokana and Tai where elections were suspended.

“Some of us had expected the APC to earn more seats, but the party misread the situation on ground. It had depended on Amaechi’s laudable performance in office during its governorship election campaign last year, and repeated the same during the just concluded rerun polls.

“A lot has changed in Rivers state. The PDP’s early start during the campaigning period gave it the necessary edge. If the APC had been more on the ground, they would have had a clearer picture of how voters actually felt about their last days in power.

The voting was merely sentimental than reasoning,” said Woke.

Another political observer, Mrs. Sandra Maduka, said the striking difference between PDP and APC supporters was that the PDP supporters have remained the feelers, the hands, and the feet of the party since the party’s attempt to wrest power from the Amaechi-led APC government since 2013.

“The PDP had governed Rivers uninterrupted between 1999 to 2013 when the then governor, Chibuike Amaechi, decamped to the APC. But then power returned to the PDP in 2015. The strength of party is in its numbers and this made it possible for the party to reach every constituent in the state to canvas for votes. I doubt if the APC possess the same numbers as the PDP who worked really hard to win voters back with their grassroots going around canvassing support” she said.

The rerun national and state Assemblies elections in Rivers State were characterized by violence, hijack of electoral materials and voters apathy.

Of note, is the scuffle that ensued on Saturday at the registration area center (RAC) in Abalama, Asari-Toru local government area, as APC and PDP members tried to undo each other in the bid to hijack the voting materials.

Amid the pandemonium, three white Toyota Hilux van conveying persons in police and army uniform stormed the place and opened fire on people. One person was allegedly killed and several persons injured. The gunshot, which lasted several minutes, forced people to, scampered into the nearby bush for safety.

Similarly, in Abonnema waterfront in Akuku Toru Local Government Area, argument broke out between APC and PDP members as election materials were about to be transported to riverine communities, particularly Kula. It was gathered that supporters of both parties had attempted to snatch the election materials. Amid the disagreement that ensued, some of the youths allegedly began shooting as well as detonated dynamite forcing people to flee the area while the materials were said to have been taken away by one of the parties.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 6 Calabar, Baba Bolanta, told journalists in Port Harcourt that the police arrested 24 suspects during the election comprising 22 males and two females. Bolanta said the suspects were currently in police custody and were undergoing interrogations on allegations of criminal and electoral offences.

He also stated that the massive deployment of police officers drastically assisted in leveraging the palpable fear associated with the re-run election, adding that pockets of security breaches were recorded.

Meanwhile, Governor Wike has declared that the rerun elections in the state have shown clearly who was on ground and which party was the accepted one by the people.

According to him, the rerun elections have proven that the control of INEC, Federal might, military, police and other security agencies do not translate to electoral victories, as the people will always resist agents of rigging.

The APC hopes now depended on the remaining constituencies in the eight local government areas where INEC has suspended polls.



50 Comments
  • It is common knowledge in politics that you can not rig elections in places you are not popular.

    • Bongos

      Somebody made you a Deacon of a church,Tomorrow, you will leave that church and form yours calling yourself a Pastor of a branch, Ameachi made wike who he is today,But cos of greed for power,Wike betrayed him by joining forces with a FOE and someone of your status will say that,It was the right thing to do,Let those that support back stabbings, back stabbing will be their portion IJN.

      • idcabasa

        Did Odili not make Amechi what he is? How did he or how is he repaying him today? Stop playing the Ostrich my friend. It’s either your an ignorant fellow or merely acting a script.

        My advice is simple GROW UP!

      • Nnabuike

        Abeg Bongos please get your facts clear. Odili made Amaechi and Wike was used to boost Amaechi strength. Wike was a made man before Amaechi and was used by Odili to help Amaechi. Research.

      • randy

        didnt Amechi betrayed his state and PDP?

      • who made who? without wike, amechi never would hv bn governor. wike fought every1 to make sure amechi became governor. amechi is d ungrateful one. get ur facts straight, bro

        • VERA

          pls read my reply to Bongus above.

      • Mr. A

        Stay in Lagos or wherever and comment on what you do not know.

      • VERA

        What you do not know is that someone somewhere may actually be the brain behind Wike’s victory into the government house. Yes Wike was Amechi’s chief of staff before becoming a minister, but what you do not know is that Wike’s godfather may have been responsible for Amechi’s governorship victory. So, the godfather was settled with Wike’s appointment. Subsequently, the godfather may have pushed for Wike’s promotion to federal minister, and eventual return as a governor. My submission is that, until this particular godfather is identified and tamed, whoever he backs, will triumph in Rivers State. As long as Wike is paying his due, he will continue to break Amechi’s arm. It is a mafioso style. the man/woman is hiding somewhere, pulling the string and all you see is Wike and Amechi dancing. The boldness in Wike’s utterances should tell you that someone somewhere is playing the piper for him. It is a pity that Rivers people are the pawn in these guys’ mafioso political chess, but that is the stark reality before us.

        • Rivers People love Wike and his leadership style. They hate Amechi——just say it the way it is

      • John

        It was not Amechi that made Wike but the other way round bro

      • H.E. ICI

        Put things right so that you can identify the real traitor and the father of betrayals Rotimi Amaechi.
        A party also made Amaechi speaker of the state house and later the same party made him Governor for two full terms…He betrayed the party, betrayed his kins men and betrayed his region…. because of a stupid ambition that will never see the light of day.
        Amaechi is the real saboteur..his self destruct and misguided decisions will crystallize into a colossal political failure. Just watch.

        In any case it is not just a Wike’ s resolve.The people of River state cannot repeat the mistake that we Nigerians are groaning on.The mistake of trusting APC with power.

      • IIsonke Charles

        Comments of people who want to be more Catholic than the Pope. What do you know about Rivers state politics?
        Because Amaechi repayed the debt he owed Wike who fought for him to become governor. You said, Amaechi made Wike.
        Wike fought for him, Wike even testified against Celestine Omehia, consequently Amaechi came in as the governor through the back door (all this while, he had sought asylum in Ghana) because Obj would have made him, Amaechi, a guest of effc. On becoming the governor through that supreme Court ruling, he appointed Wike chief of staff.

      • Okafor

        Someone made Amaechi what he is today. Adda George picked from the gutter and made him an adviser. Today George is his enemy number 1,so is Odili.Amaechi’s undoing was challenging Jonathan and decamping to APC. Rivers people immediately disowned and he is a nobody in Rivers politics

      • BENOTI

        Bongo, please cross check your records well and possibly you will discover who actually made the other politically, between Gov. Wike and Amaechi, otherwise, you can apply for some tutorials on this subject matter.

  • John Johnson

    soon apc and Buhari will do away with amechi. He could not deliver rivers to apc during presidential state and now legistrative after all the noise

    • VERA

      Come to think of it, Buhari dashed him transport ministry, as well as approved NIMASA for his puppet boy Dakuku, Buhari Amechi a second chance to prove himself by allowing Appeal Court to annul the elections, and with all the open cheque to squander money from transport ministry and NIMASA, coupled with military, police et al, they could not deliver Rivers this second time. In deed, Buhari will soon dump him. But come ooo, Buhari may not dump him that easy ooo, because Amechi will reveal how APC presidential election was funded using Rivers State money, thereby implicating (Mr clean) Buhari. Any ways, Buhari is a jackboot man who could use DSS to rubbish him and make sure he is not even tried till the end of his tenure. Military coup style.

  • Benin2Lagos

    Ameachi graduated with a third class from UNIPORT and Dr Peter Odili employed him as his personal assistance in private clinic and helped him to become speaker in RSHA for 8years and governor for 8years.You know how he treated the Odilis with contempt up till date.

    • VERA

      I really didn’t know this facts before. This is revealing. See my reply to Bongus

    • Obinna

      Thank you Benin2Lagos…you spoke my heart

    • H.E. ICI

      Thanks bro

  • Mr. A

    It’s futile to expect APC to win a fair election in Rivers State. The earlier they realize this the better for everybody. Same thing played out in Bayelsa.

    • Ngene

      APC cannot win even an unfair election in Rivers/Bayelsa. Apart from the Boko Haram sympathisers in Edo, no thumb shall print on APC logo whether the election is fair or unfair in the Eastern Region. They are sure of losing even in Benue and Plateau in 2019. Buhari is aware.

  • caliph Braide

    ”The PDP had governed Rivers uninterrupted between 1999 to 2013…..The strength of party is in its numbers and this made it possible for the party to reach every constituent in the state to canvas for votes”. At this point, I must say that the real reality of the elections goes beyond what has been articulated in the article above. Politics of today has so much to do with religious, regional and cultural influences which defines homogeneity which encompasses diversity in the region and above political party identity of an individual in the region. It is obvious that the today’s political affairs in the country Nigeria is, especially religious characterized and seems more like drawn what looks like a battle line, and the different groups have their political party identity attached to their socio cultural affiliation which must not be abused nor negated respectively. Consequently, this new line of political identity is what has played a major role in the Rivers state rerun elections.

  • Izedomi Ohirein

    No one can credibly be said to have worn River State elections marred by violence.
    Supreme Court judgement upholding such violent gubernatorial election is surprising and a rape on our justice system, which should be probed.
    The recent election has seen the same level of violence, deserves to be cancelled & all those involved in violence + election manipulation persecuted.
    The people of River State deserve to elect their representatives in a free & fair elections.

    • Fuzio

      Your messiah is incapable of conducting a ‘free & fair’ election anywhere in Nigeria. All the elections conducted so-far under his watch have all ended in cliffhanger. You don’t know what you don’t know.

      • Izedomi Ohirein

        I have no friend in Nigerian politics. My Children & I have choices. I supported change to APC government to see the outcome.
        I am happy with the war against corruption & the new budget if well implemented.
        I hope those who plotted to rig River State re-run elections are made to pay for their crimes by this government, unlike under the previous government when corruption & election rigging were PDP government policies.

        • Fuzio

          Until we see somebody in jail, it all amounts to noise making when it comes to the so-called war on corruption. Nigerians can definitely not say they are better off today than they were under the previous administration. They claimed that they met an empty treasury but Obasanjo exposed them the other day and stated that they inherited more than $30 Billion. The verdict is tricking in when it comes to whether Nigerians were right in voting for ‘change’, and it is not favorable to this administration

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Public thieves need to be charged to Court first before being jailed. Jailing can not come first.
            Nigerian economy is much bigger in 2015, compared to 1999..
            Jonathan wasted our commonwealth when he met $65bn in foreign reserve & Oil price rose to $140PB during his tenure. He was a disaster. You are paying the price of Jonathan failure today.
            Please wait until 3yrs time to judge Buhari’s performance. I am sure he will perform much better than wasteful, corrupt & incompetent Jonathan.

          • Fuzio

            In 3yrs you will still be invoking the myth of Jonathan’s mismanagement as an excuse for utter incompetence in governance that is staring every Nigerian in the face right now. 1 year is enough time to put people in jail in some of these open and close cases. For instance the case against Amaechi is one of them. He is supposed to be cooling off in one of the maximum prisons in the country. I know that when corrupt individual cross over to APC, they turn to a new leaf and become saints.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Just as I can tell you that Obasanjo paid off our $40bn debts & left $45bn in foreign reserves.
            I can also tell you that Jonathan rundown our foreign reserves to $29bn & ran up our foreign debts to $11bn, domestic debts to $60bn despite $140PB Oil price during his corrupt, wasteful & criminally incompetent tenure.
            That Jonathan was a disaster of a President I will always blame myself to have voted for & encourage many Nigerians to vote for.

          • Fuzio

            Jonathan may have been a little lax during his administration, but the fact that he conducted a credible election that ended in his defeat shows that he had nothing to hide. If he had skeletons in his cupboard he would have used the overwhelming power of presidency of Nigeria to secure a second term. Even his critics admit this.
            Do you expect this current administration with its mindset to set a similar example in putting the country before party and individual interest? I don’t think so. Buhari clearly lost 2 previous elections for president but never conceded any of them. Jonathan conceded the election even while the vote counting was still going on. If the country is in political turmoil, talk of economic mismanagement would have been out of place. It was easy for him to have precipitated political crisis as the sitting president instead of being ousted in an election. But he chose the part of honor. See where it has landed him. Believe me he will be the last sitting president that will ever lose re-election in Nigeria for a very long time to come.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Accepting Supreme Court judgement is conceding defeat. Buhari accepted all the Court judgements against him & APC even in River State.
            Not conceding election defeat would have cost many life lost & Jonathan would have spent the rest of life in jail if not killed in the process.
            Are you suggesting that looter under Jonathan maladministration should not be probed & our money recovered.
            Jonathan chose the part of corruption, waste & looing of our commonwealth at a time he met $65bn in foreign reserves & price of Oil rose to $140PB, instead of writing his name in gold.

          • Fuzio

            You do not for certain that Jonathan would have lost the war if he had done what any Northerner would have done in a similar circumstance judging from their history. The Oil wells that would have financed the war are all in the region where he has maximum support and there are segments of the country that regards Buhari (with good reasons too) accent to the presidency as unthinkable. Nigeria would not have survived such turmoil intact for one, and while the crisis is going on you would not have had the effrontery to talk of mismanagement of Oil resources under Jonathan. So, you should be thankful to God that Jonathan is who he is and not some power thirsty ‘strongman’. You should be more worried about the fate of the country after APC has exhausted its shelf life.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            We will vote APC out if they fail. That is the beauty of democracy. I don’t care who rule Nigeria provided they do good.
            Jonathan would have ended up like Gbagbo if he had done something stupid as people like you wanted.

          • Fuzio

            My father use to tell me that feeding a monkey water in a gold plated cup is not the problem. The problem manifests itself when it comes time to get the cup from the monkey.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            The political alliance that gave Jonathan victory in 2011 in part gave Buhari victory in 2015.
            APC will collapse as PDP collapsed & lose election if they fail to perform.
            Our problem lie with people ignorant & illiterate of tenant’s of democracy, who cry for Igbo or Ijaw president & not for President of Nigeria committed to serving our common good.

          • Fuzio

            See how you avoided adding Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba in your list above. That is the mentality of the slave. What can be better than what we have right now.
            Of course you did not hear the deafening chant for a Northern (Hausa/Fulani) president while Jonathan was president, or that Nigeria will break to pieces if a Yorubaman does not emerge as president after the demise of Abacha.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            You were born a slave & fail to understand that there is no more slavery.
            Please go round descendants of slaves & look if you will find Edo people among them. You will find Edo people among Yoruba, Igbo, Rivers & Kogi royal families. I am an Edo Man. I spent most of my life in one of the World most advanced democracy.
            I believe democracy will produce our best leaders. Not PDP zoning system you want to impose on APC & Nigeria.

          • Fuzio

            Ahh, I see them every time I travel to Amsterdam or Rotterdam in The Netherlands in stores with glass windows being rotated like merchandise for window shoppers to behold and bargain for.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            You were born a slave & reason like a slave. I was born free.

          • Fuzio

            You will never hear free people say the very obvious, that they are free. It is only those who were enslaved or the recently freed that proclaim their freedom to ward of re-enslavement. Need I say more?

  • O F

    TRUE. I like people who publish the truth.

  • SWEET DADDY

    APC propaganda messages… they came to power with propaganda and after over 10 months the Country has turned
    from fair to bad. You don’t rule the people with propaganda but what you can offer to better the masses.
    Now the Nigerian people are much wiser, they now see that the change slogan was only a propaganda and that APC
    have no what it takes to be in power in the federal level. Don’t forget Ekiti, Rivers and Edo states are PDP stronghold.

    • Buyer Remorse has set in after 10 Calendar months…

  • Adeniji

    Nigerians are lucky now, and i think we should not abuse the Priviledge,Who dare all these blabbing to Buhari, when Buhari was Buhari (1984/85). Democracy is sweet meeeen.!!!. The Only reason why APC can hardly win River State is simple.because of Former President Goodluck, not that PDP or APC is good, but sympathy for our Son and PDP is our party now. and the believe that , even though our son is bad, we can not ignore him or sought replacement else where. whether you like it or not Nigerian Voting pattern can not devoid from Religion , ethnicity, Interest,… those are guiding factors to most Nigerian Voters. And now, because of these factors, either directly or by implication PDP has turn to East and South south party……Stronghold .inspite of atrocity committed by PDP in Nigeria, Riverians still prefer PDP. as matter of fact, if PDP presents a Dog for election they will vote for the Dog under PDP…..see funny Nigerians maybe, perhaps Ameachi reverse to PDP they will welcome him and vote for him, then why castigating Ameachi forgetting what lead to his exit in PDP.–Power Tussle between him and former first lady……………………………………….God Bless Nigeria,

  • The Trib3sman

    How can APC win in Rivers State? How?

  • Rev

    These politicians lack any consideration for the common people… their whole mission is to enrich themselves…Hence the level of violence…
    May God have mercy!

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  • MD

    A dysfunctional society and people who see violence and corruption as a means of actualizing their goals and unfortunately we are a people who will believe anything and everything as true so long as it serves our purpose. It is irrelevant “who made who” according to those of you who see that as an issue for we easily forget that we are here for a purpose may we learn to use our time with each other well and also what is important is that very soon the people of the state would know who really is the traitor between the one vivified and the one been hailed and I hope it would not be too late. Now Amaechi is the villain and Wike is the hero, the end will soon justify the means and above all those who shed innocent blood to actualize their lust for power and revenge should remember that God is not a liar he will fight back for the innocent.

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