By Obinna Nwaoku
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Prince Uche Secondus is not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and therefore, cannot speak either for or interfere in the affairs of the party.
Secondus, the immediate past National Chairman of PDP, while alluding to governor Wike in the media, reportedly said that no one person has powers to impose a presidential candidate on Rivers electorate.
Governor Wike said Secondus was a meddlesome interloper because he had been expelled as a member of PDP by his ward in Andoni, an action that was affirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The governor, who disclosed this during the inauguration of Aluu- Omagwa Link Road, held at the Omuagubia playground by Cross Junction, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Council, yesterday.
“I read newspaper this morning where a former member of our party, one Uche Secondus said that no one man can impose a presidential candidate on Rivers people.
“He is not a member of our party. His ward expelled him from the party. The court confirmed it. He went to Court of Appeal, he lost. He went to Supreme Court, the matter is coming up on October 23, 2023.”
Governor Wike continued, “I told him, you will not be national chairman to conduct the convention. Did he conduct it? Was he at the national convention? Up until now, you are not a member of our party.
“And in any case, I never said I was going to impose my candidate on Rivers people. I said I was going to tell Rivers people who I am going to support, who I am going to campaign for.
“But don’t blame them, when you didn’t finish secondary school, you will not understand the grammar.”
Governor Wike emphasised that in any case, Rivers people will listen to him more that Secondus because they can trust him as a leader who will continue to defend the interest of the state.
“So, Mr. Secondus, I have no problem with you being technical adviser to Atiku. But don’t speak on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State because you are not a member of our party.”
Governor Wike asserted that it is not surprising that Secondus, beclouded by his half education, preferred poorly educated candidate, Senator Lee Maeba, to have emerged as Senator over Senator Magnus Abe, a more educated Rivers son.
The governor recalled how Secondus and his cohorts, now christened Abuja Rivers politicians, had always tried to circumvent his political intentions, but failed.
The governor said he has no apology for unsettling the so-called Abuja politicians when the party structure was taken over by him in 2013, while beating them into joining him because there was no other choice left for them.
“What most of you didn’t know is that all these people who run away to Abuja, they’ve never worked with us. I led the team; they kicked them out of office in 2007. Yes, I have no apology to that.
“In 2014, in spite of the fact I was the one who fought for the structure of the party, most of them sabotaged me at the back to run for governor against me. When they saw there was not hope, there was nothing else for them to do, they had no choice but to come and join us.”
Governor Wike observed that in their usual manner, they regrouped against him and clandestinely supported one of them to become the governorship flag bearer of PDP in the state for the 2023 general election but were frustrated.
The Rivers State governor listed that he embarked on legal battle to reclaim the state ceded oil wells to Imo and Bayelsa states and today proceeds from them are received by the state.
Governor Wike also mentioned the ongoing legal battle over the illegality of VAT collection by the Federal Government when it should be collected by the state.
Governor Wike said one of the reasons Rivers people cannot trust Secondus is because of the ugly role he played in 2019. It was about election time, he said, when Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Bukola Saraki visited him to ask what he was expecting for Rivers State and the demand was clear, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Petroleum.
But Governor Wike stated that what Secondus did was to go behind to demand for oil block for himself and not for the state. Governor Wike also recalled how Secondus had always frustrated the completion of projects that are under his purview including the Andoni axis of the Ogoni-Opobo-Andoni Unity Road.
“Ask him, what happened when the military took over, when the NRC was in power, Ada George was the governor of the state. Ask him, what happened at Ohamini Road. Why was he told to frog jump?
“Who flogged him? Colonel Akubundu (Rtd) who of course was the organising secretary, flogged him, why? He couldn’t do the project of the Ohamini Road.”
Governor Wike further alleged, “Ask him, from 1999, when Odili became governor, every project Dr. Odili gave to Andoni through him, ask him, which one was commissioned.
“Every company that the state government would pay money to instead of you to allow the company to do the job, you’ll collect the money. That is why it’s difficult and why we have not been able to commission the Andoni aspect of the road.”
Source: The Guardian