#SoundOff: Why Are Social Media Celebrants Of Tribunal Verdict On Rivers From...

#SoundOff: Why Are Social Media Celebrants Of Tribunal Verdict On Rivers From The North

By Charles Novia | Op-Ed Contributor on October 26, 2015
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Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State
Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State

I‘m sorry to have to ask this but I can’t help wondering why majority of the comments happy over the Wike Tribunal Verdict on social media especially twitter are Northern people.

Unconfirmed reports say that there were celebrations in Kano and a couple of other states up north over the verdict. Unconfirmed. But the comments I have read on twitter and other online sites by some of the Northern commentators lend credence to it.

I wrote earlier that this election in Rivers and Akwa Ibom has to do with oil interests more than anything else. As someone wrote today; “The Wike and Akpabio/Udom camp have sworn that the oil from the Niger Delta will remain in PDP hands. As with Bayelsa and Delta. It’s all about 2019.

The APC want to wishes to enthrone a new fiefdom in the Niger Delta, seeing how effective Amaechi was in using the oil money from his state to instal President Buhari. “

I read Governor Fayose’s statement on the tribunal result today and some portions of it made glaring sense and makes one wonder about the level of hypocrisy going on in the elections tribunals. First, the Yobe State Governor, an APC Governor, openly admitted that he bribed the INEC Resident Umpire in Yobe with N15 million to safeguard his election. The Tribunal seems to have ruled in his favour, overlooking that infraction.

Secondly, the Election Tribunal in Lagos upheld the election of Governor Ambode citing that card readers are not recognised by the Electoral Act. But the Election Tribunal of Rivers State ruled against Wike over the use of card readers! Two different judgements with the same precedence?

If Governor Wike gets a good lawyer in his appeal, he definitely will win on technical grounds. Also, out of 26 witnesses, the APC only presented 4 who testified on their behalf. Bizarre. All the witnesses for Wike and the INEC and even the police testified that elections did hold and it was not in anyway an infraction to cancel the whole state’s election. In fact, Prof Jega’s official statement before he left office asserting that the Rivera Elections held according to law was produced. Yet the Tribunal overlooked those technical areas and based their judgement on the card readers?

Another thing; the Rivers State Electoral Tribunal sat in Abuja. Abuja. Not Rivers. Abuja. Where it would be easy to …..anyway…I won’t write about that further lest it becomes libelous or contemptuous. But if Wike even argues that case at the Supreme Court, he stands a chance of getting a positive judgment.

With some of these developments, it’s not hard not to believe the conspiracy theories over the Tribunal judgement. However, the indices on ground show that Nyesom Wike is a very powerful and grounded politician who will win again and again in a re-run election. The powers-that-be in Rivers and majority of the electorate would vote for him from what I’m told.

Many people in Rivers State have not forgiven Amaechi for many sins and a protest vote against Dakuku Peterside will be their payback.

Personally, I see through the veil of hypocrisy. Some powerful forces have somehow convinced President Buhari to turn a blind eye from Rivers while they try to get their plans in motion.

The backlash from these things and the general insecurity in the land as well as the Nnamdi Kanu episode is warming up with press-ups on the ground if care is not taken.

Charles Novia is an award-winning filmmaker. He is founder of November Productions and November Records. Connect with him on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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