(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Political Matters and Strategy, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh, insists that the governor has shown capacity in fulfilling the legitimate expectations of Rivers people in the last three to four years in office, and that at the 2019 elections, both Wike and the PDP will certainly triumph irrespective of the candidates other parties throw into the ring. He was speaking with Notable Outcome and other newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Notable Outcome: Election is just few days away, as Governor Wike’s Special Adviser on Political Matters and Strategy, how prepared is your party for the challenge?
Emeh: You know the general saying that a good product sells itself: the candidates of the party are first class materials in the state- from the governor to the House of Assembly members; House of Representatives and senate. And given the high level of performance of Governor Wike in the last 3 to 4 years, there is no doubt that PDP is adequately prepared and sufficiently ready to face any election in this state, and victory is definitely ours.
Notable Outcome: APC is the main opposition political party in Rivers State, are you worried about the choice of a Kalabari candidate in the person of oil magnate Tonye Cole?
Emeh: Not at all. You know, when you are preparing for an examination, it doesn’t matter what the examiner does: for us in PDP, we have no difficulties to appreciate the fact that, in any level of election, PDP will certainly triumph. It doesn’t matter where any party brings their candidate, Rivers State has been so united that we don’t judge people any more based on their ethnicity. What Rivers people bother about now is a leader that can provide basic amenities for their comfort and Wike has achieved this much, which earned him the title: Mr. Project, and also attracted the admiration of the elders of the state when they gave him award of: Pride of Rivers State.
Wike has shown that ability to perform should be the precondition for voting anybody into office and has also cemented the bond of fraternal coexistence such that the age long primordial sentiments of riverine and upland dichotomy is no longer in vogue in the state. So APC or any other party for that matter can take their candidates from anywhere in the state. No matter the ethnic colouration, Wike will beat such persons at the poll. So we are not really bothered.
Notable Outcome: How is the PDP combining the presidential campaign with that of governors and other elective offices?
Emeh: It may look like they are different elections but from the point of view of the party, if you go back to 16 years ago, when PDP ran the country, the pedigrees are there: statistics are there. Now if you come to Rivers State, it is a fait accompli that no candidate can compete with Governor Wike in terms of acceptability. Today is Thursday, you can hear what people from Opobo are saying, that they can now drive to their town, particularly at Christmas period. Is that not enough reason for them to vote PDP?
For the first time, an ancient town like Opobo is now experiencing the sights and sounds of vehicular traffic -in their domain. I was told by the chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Council that the park he has prepared is not capable of taking the number of vehicles that are coming into town and so they are thinking of developing another site to park cars! What I am saying in effect is that, when you look at the performance of Wike-
what he has put down in the 23 local government areas of the state, the natural progression would be that Wike’s re-election is a settled matter.
At the national level, we are also relying on the credibility and capacity of our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his pedigree as a business mogul and commercial- oriented person. Combine it with his running mate, Peter Obi, who has one of the best credentials in sub- Sahaharan Africa: and so the duo of Atiku and Obi dwarfs the ticket of Buhari and Yemi Osinbajo. Apart from the intrigues of people who claim to be in power, in a free and fair election, APC or any other party for that matter can never come closer to PDP.
Notable Outcome: It would appear that Rivers State will end up becoming a – one party state, with the number of defections and volunteers campaigning for Wike’s re-election, what is your reaction?
Emeh: That is almost like taken fore granted. Even now in the House of Assembly, out of 32 members you will scarcely count those not in the PDP. I have been in this game for almost three decades but this is the first time I am seeing a candidate that is being embraced in the manner that Wike is being endorsed. At the last count, we are having up to 50 Non- Governmental Organizations falling over themselves, wanting to have a space in Wike’s political platform. And so we have no difficulties that the party will win the election.
Wike and PDP will win landslide in the next general election. It therefore follows that, it will be fool hardy for any experienced and sensible politician to remain in any other party than PDP. If at the end of the day we have only PDP in Rivers State, we worked for it. Wike is prepared for re-election – for his constitutional second term as governor of Rivers State.At the national level, Atiku is set to takeover Aso Rock as President of Nigeria- that is what Nigerians want.