(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-In the last three years and some months that he left the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, Chief Emeh Glory Emeh has never failed to tell any one who cared to listen that the APC in Rivers State has no future. The plank of his prediction was that, the party lacked organization and visionary leadership, and that it was bedeviled with factions that are pulling in opposite directions.
Chief Emeh therefore had no difficulty in concluding that such a clay footed party, is neither a match nor an alternative to Governor Nyesom Wike, who has littered the 23 local government areas with projects, and whose achievements have been applauded locally and globally.
It was therefore, not surprising that, a party that held so much promise in terms of followership, and the advantage of being in control of government at the centre, would shoot itself out of contention in the 2019 general election in Rivers State: A self inflicted political misfortune, that is, with no precedence in the political history of Rivers State.
Predictably, unguided infighting has graduated into multiplied hatred and crowding out of the Rivers APC from the political process that they looked forward to with hope, to avenge the defeat of 2015. The APC probably did not learn from Martin Luther King Jnr. who said that, “Returning hate to hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars”.
With the litany of court judgments not giving hope to the APC to do am, because of that singular mistake of conducting their congress in violation of a High Court order, the only party that would have been in a position to contend for all positions in Rivers State in the February and March elections have become like the proverbial young lady, who was found to be without breast when prospective suitors came to seek her hand in marriage. Many a Rivers man are pained that they have been denied a keen contest in the forthcoming elections which only the APC would have provided.
Recall that, the last ruling of the Court of Appeal predictably ruled out the Rivers APC, a party that was parading very good candidates from the elections. Meanwhile, analysts have blamed the loss more on leadership that was not proactive, than on external influences. Their argument was that, if the internal party mechanism had prevented the internal conflicts from escalating to the point it did, no influence from anywhere could have derailed their match to making a statement at the elections.
It is only hoped that, the misfortune of the APC in Rivers State will drive home a strong message to the stakeholders that, times change and people change also, irrespective of whatever may have worked in the past. J.F. Kennedy probably had the Rivers APC in mind when he said that, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future”.
Meanwhile Governor Nyesom Wike is strolling back for a second term, with no challenger. All those candidates who are only heard on radio but not on ground any where in the state are mere pretenders and outsiders in the 2019 election. Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh made the declaration of Wike not having an alternative in 2019 over three years ago and it has dramatically come to pass. The development has its gains though: it has reduced tension in the state, and citizens can now heave a sigh of relief from threats of fire and brimstone by the political gladiators, who probably saw the contest as a do or die affair.