By Chris Nehikhare
The Rebellion has been crushed, but O boy, no be small fight!
It had all the characteristics of a failed coup. Some may say aborted!
Long before March 9, 2019, the rebels led by a certain Rotimi Amaechi had perfected plans on how to take over the government of Rivers State by all and any means possible.
Within the ranks of the rebels however, a disagreement of catastrophic proportion emerged. Who will wear the crown? While the rebel-leader-in-chief had his friend, Tonye Cole, his benefactor in mind, Senator Magnus Abe will have none of that as he believed he had served loyally and deserved the crown.
Magnus Abe challenged the undisputed rebel leader at the point of party congresses, but the rebel leader bulldozed his way to seize not just the party structure, but dismissed and dared Senator Abe as a nonentity. Amaechi dismissed and reportedly rebuffed all attempts to reconcile or concede some positions to Abe, who at this point had developed a moderately sized army of followers, spoilers and sympathizers.
Magnus Abe was like a woman scorned! Amaechi underestimated the tenacity of Magnus Abe. To Amaechi and his gang, Abe was a nuisance.
To cut the long and winding story short, Abe went to court to challenge the absolutism of Amaechi and his marauding gangs fueled by the garrulous and due process averse Adams Oshiomhole.
As a consequence of their impunity and total disregard for due process in setting up executive committees for the party from ward to state level, the courts from the high court to Supreme Court barred APC from fielding candidates in the general elections in Rivers State.
Like a toddler whose sweet had been forcefully removed from his mouth, the rebel leader swore that he would bring down governor Wike and PDP. He danced to a war song he composed and performed to entertain Mr. President who was desirous of capturing Rivers State by hook or by crook. Ameachi adopted a fatherless and motherless party, who till this day, Rivers People don’t know the symbol! After all, Ameachi had drawn a perfect strategy for the Operation Ewu Dance! Amaechi was given or so he boasted a letter of attorney to do as he wished with our Nigerian Army! He became the field commander-in-chief, issuing and dishing out orders on D-Day.
With over 4,442 polling units in Rivers States, Amaechi and his army could not have a comprehensive and total coverage of the “operational areas”. He couldn’t despatch soldiers to the 4,442 polling units, it seemed a logistical nightmare! He needed at least 20,000 soldiers for effective takeover of all the units. He couldn’t pull it off. He didn’t have enough men.
He activated plan B. Block routes going to Port Harcourt, highjack and seize all collated results from the field and replace them with the ones he generated and force INEC and the returning Officers to declare the results.
Harass! Intimidate! Manipulate! Kill! Maim! … they left sorrow, tears and blood, their regular trademark! Our Nigerian Army started issuing press releases hour-by-hour. Unknown soldiers naim do am… They set up commission of enquiry. It was all like ground hog day, the more things changed, the more they remained the same!
So, they had to capture the INEC head office on Aba road.
Damn! They didn’t factor-in the police guarding the INEC office or the INEC staff whose responsibility it is to read the collated results. The police resisted the take-over. INEC staff feared the over militarization of their office and announced a suspension of the process.
On Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019, 26 days after the Operation Ewu Dance commenced, The Rebellion was crushed, Governor Wike was declared Winner.
O boy, no be small fight!
Governor Wike, congratulations on your reelection and resounding victory . I congratulate the good people of Rivers State for standing up to defend democracy. Their behavior is a lesson to other states who are still under bondage and oppression from self imposed overlords who boast that they OWN THEIR STATES!
I’m aware some soldiers and civilians regrettably lost their lives in the needless tension imported to Rivers State. They haven’t died in vain. May their souls rest in peace.
- * Nehikhare writes from Benin City, in Edo State.