Sir Fubara signing the dotted lines after collecting his Certificate of Return

6 Rivers PDP leaders who lost out on the way to Sim Fubara’s victory

6 Rivers PDP leaders who lost out on the way to Sim Fubara’s victory

● Why they jumped off the love boat and believed in the power of their chariots;

● How they forgot power comes from God

By PHC Telegraph

Governor Nyesom Wike, cheerful, focused, determined, organised and victorious.

Sunday, 2nd April, 2023, members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State filed out to thank God for the electoral victory recorded on Saturday, March 18, 2023.

The thanksgiving service which attracted members of the ruling party took place at the All Saints, an Anglican Church at Rumukwurusi in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

The PDP, it would be recalled, swept the polls in all the 23 LGAs of the State in an election that most observers agree was largely free and fair.

While the PDP led by Governor Nyesom Wike celebrated the election of Siminalayi Fubara, the Governor-elect and the victory of all other elected officials in the State under its banner, most Rivers people heaved sighs of relief.

There were however, a couple  of Rivers leaders who fought against Rivers interests within the PDP that were not apparently celebrating.

They include:

Prince Uche Secondus:

Prince Uche Secondus, former National Chairman of the PDP

Former National Chairman of the PDP who began his climb to the top echelon of party management as State Party Chairman was one of the first “overfed Rivers leaders” as some in the State allude to settle for a needless war.

Incidentally, Secondus chose to work early for a northern and selfish agenda in the PDP which excluded Southern interests.

His planned return to power, some insiders say, was intended to pave the way for the northern establishment within the party to have a direct shot at the presidency.

Many commentators have tried to examine the advent of differences which existed and still exists between Secondus and Wike outside this premise.

Truth is, defending the Southern perspective led to the war with Secondus and his fall as National Chairman.

Nonetheless,  Secondus appears to be the arrowhead of the so-called Rivers opposition within the PDP that has been crushed by pro-Wike forces.

All politics is local. Secondus will therefore, face exclusion  from mainstream Rivers politics. He will be confined to peripheral opposition politics, at least for another four years, except peace is achieved.

Abiye Sekibo:

Abiye Sekibo, one of those who moved against Governor Wike

Until he took the unprecedented step to join the train of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Dr Abiye Sekibo was a known confidant of the  Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike.

Wike carried the former Secretary to the Rivers State Government along, but Sekibo who had his own plan joined Atiku and other opponents to fight against him.

Like his associates in the Atiku gang, he had hoped to emerge as a successor to Governor Nyesom Wike.

The elections have come and gone. Abiye lost everything- part of the slice that Abuja promised that will never be realised due to Atiku’s fall and the huge pie he was expectoed to be part of on the home front if he had stayed on.

Abiye would have to operate underground for most of  Fubara’s reign as governor.  He has possibly become what Wike describes as a tenant residing in Abuja.

Celestine Omehia:

Sir Celestine Omehia, left light for darkness

The Governor that never was in the eyes of the law who was in every way decorated, uplifted and treated as one is perhaps the biggest loser among those who fell on the way to the actualization of Sim’s mandate.

Celestine had access to everything – recognition, money, influence, respect and power. He was even like a special envoy in some cases. Unknown to Wike, Omehia’s lust for power was growing by the day.

His insatiable appetite  and what many here see as greed has turned him into an outsider. His picture in public places have been removed after the State House of Assembly accepted it had sinned against the judiciary and the position of the Supreme Court in making orders that installed Omehia as a governor.

The emoluments that he was entitled to as an ex-governor  have been clinically taken from him.

If Omehia hoped to realise a life long ambition to be governor, he did not appear to have read the political map properly, more especially the mood among the Rivers people that favoured the zoning of the highest office in the State to the Riverine.

Between Wike and Atiku, when the ambition to be governor failed, Sir Omehia chose Atiku Abubakar and disowned Sir Siminalayi Fubara. Now he carries the title of an Abuja based politician.

Lee Maeba:

L-R: Lee Maeba, Nyesom Wike slugged it out

Senator Lee Maeba, a one-time party official in Rivers State did everything to make it into Port Harcourt from Abuja on the day Wike asked him to flag off the construction and dualization of the Sakpenwa Road.

Flights had been cancelled, a Telegraph Correspondent who was at the Abuja Airport reports. And “Tiger Head” as some jokingly refer to the Senator needed to be in Wike’s company.

Apart from being an “FoG” (Friend of the Governor), the Senator who made it just in time needed to enter the history books as the one that flagged off the project, which has opened increasing access to Ogoniland.

Maeba had an interest too. He wanted to serve as governor. Of course he was from a Senatorial District that had not produced a governor.

There was however a drawback. He was from a part of the State seen as the Upland that would have done 24 years in power after Wike.

Maeba lost out and reappeared in Abuja as a prominent player in the Atiku team. In doing so, Maeba threw away friendship, threw away State interests and joined forces with those who wanted Governor Wike out of the way.

The Senator may not be one of those prominent faces that would be seen around the corridors of power when the time comes.

Austin Opara:

Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives  was one of those closest to Governor Nyesom Wike. He was one of those who enjoyed widespread exposure, esteem and empowerment.

Wike had him as his eyes in well placed party Committees, travelled with him everywhere and considered him an ally and a brother.

But he equally had one goal right from the days he worked with Amaechi – to be governor.

After the dream faded, following the emergence of Sir Fubara, he quickly found new companionship in Atiku’s camp and plotted to stop Wike.

As a major player, Austin did not consider the power equation. If he did, he would have realised that his ethnic nation had occupied office back to back for four tenures of 16 years

The way things look, Sir Austin has lost out in Abuja and lost out of Rivers politics as well. He may not be one of those who will gather at Sir Fubara’s table when he is sworn in on May 29th.

George Sekibo:

Senator George Thompson Sekibo…has seen it all except for the Rivers governorship.

Of the lot, George Sekibo qualifies as the one that can be ably described as “Government Pikin” by those speak fluent Pidgin English.

From the days when he served as Chairman of Okrika/Tai/Eleme Local Government Area, he has walked the corridors of power; served along the corridors of power and climbed great heights.

It is on record that he was Special Adviser on Special Projects, and a member of the National Assembly for several years.

His crowning glory would have come if he had become Rivers governor. Somehow, there were challeges along the path.

George Sekibo, Abiye Sekibo, Nyesom Wike and Rotimi Amaechi share one thing in common. They hail from the Rivers East Senatorial District. This Senatorial District has held power longest than any other. It would have spent 16 years in the Governorship saddle when Wike ends his tenure on May 28.

As the State prepares for the Fubara era, these men will be remembered as persons who trusted in the power of their chariots. Because they did, they rode into the valley like those Philistines who encamped against King Solomon after the order was given to turn the blade of the sword in the direction of the sun.

It does not appear for once that the five Rivers PDP leaders ever believed in the saying that power belongs to God. If they did, they could have acted differently.

Now that the war is over, they may realize the hard way that power is truly given to whosoever he wants by God.

God Almighty may have given power to Fubara who would emerge as one of youngest occupants of Brick House. So let it be, as Rivers people brace up for a future to come; a future in which they will take destiny into their hands and work with those who work with them.

Enter Siminalayi Fubara.

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