By Emeka Amaefula
The recently held Local Government Primary election for Peoples Democratic Party-PDP in Rivers state on Sunday 14th of February, 2021 in which candidates for Ward Councillorship, and Local Government Area Chairmanship aspirants has revealed how former appointed Commissioners and elected members of Rivers state House of Assembly dominated list of the 319 wards and 23 Local Government Councils. The scrabble for the Councillorship and chairmanship position in the various wards and Local Government Areas has led to the polarization of the ruling party in Rivers state as majority of the leading influential party elders had wanted their own favourable aspirants to emerge s candidate especially in Andonni Local Government Council, where the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party-PDP Prince Uche Secondus and the Governor of rivers state Nyesom Ezenwo Wike clashed in having their favourable aspirants elected. Top in the list of former Commissioners is Vincent Nemieboka from Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area who was appointed Commissioner during former Governor Dr. Peter Odili and later during Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Among the former members of Rivers state House of assembly who emerged as Chairmanship candidates for PDP include the former Majority Leader of Rivers state House of assembly Chidi Lloyd PhD who is currently a Law Lecturer at University of Nigeria Nsukka. Honourable Hope Ikiriko also has been an elected Local Government Council Chairman for Ahoada West Local Government Area and now re-elected in the Primary election as candidate for his party.
The outgoing Mayor of Port Harcourt City Council Honourable Victor Chinwo popularly called VOKO being a former member Rivers state House of Assembly had rough tenure in office as the Governor had severally allegedly caught him napping in financial irregularities concerning collection of unauthorized Council Levies and Tolls cum fees from traders in the Local Government Area under his care. And twice he was suspended from office and recalled after due diligence must have been conducted that exonerated or indicted him but politically settled for convenience until now when his successor will emerge through the ballot boxes instead of the unconstitutional Sole Administrator mode of substitution of elected office holders.
But a Federal Lawmaker representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency Rt. Honourable Dumnamene Dekor in a statement released by Jerry Needam said after casting his vote “as a matter of fact, we don’t have any other political party to contend with. What we have are little groups and they are ready to collapse into what we are doing. Our chairmanship candidate would leverage on what our Governor has done for the people in all the nooks and crannies of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State.”