The die is cast with the postponement of Supreme Court of Nigeria’s delivery of Judgement on the appeal of Governorship election Petition Tribunal which last sat at Lagos. Now all attention of every Politician in Rivers State is now focused on Supreme Court of Nigeria Abuja as twice the ruling had been shifted after all the parties presented their last address for the appellate court to finally issue its verdict on who becomes the authentic and duly elected Governor of Rivers State of the 18th March 2023 Governorship election.
All Progressives Congress APC Rivers state Governorship candidate Tonye Dele Cole appealed the judgement which People’s Democractic Party PDP Rivers State Governorship candidate Sir Siminialayi Fubara as the duly elected Governor of Rivers State. On the other hand, Pastor Architect Tonye Cole appealed the judgement to the Supreme Court on the ground that he should be declared as the duly elected Governor of Rivers State because PDP candidate Fubara did not resign his Civil Service appointment as the Accountant General of Rivers State.
Right now in Rivers there are two factions of APC Rivers state with one group led by Chief Emeka Bekee who was state chapter Chairman and loyalist to Right Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi but dissolved by the National Working Committee NWC and another faction led by Chief Tony Okocha who doubles as Caretaker Committee Chairman and loyalist to Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike Minister of Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja while holding forth as Rivers state representative at the Management Board of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC.
Tonye Cole belongs to Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and while APC national had withdrawn from the court case Pastor Tonye Dele Cole remained adamant on his case as a candidate in the election.
Meanwhile there’s speculation that Aso Rock Presidential Villa is interested in Political horse trading so as to procure favourable outcome of the apex court ruling hence the several number of times the matter has been postponed from delivery of Judgement.
The heightened fever among supporters of Sir Siminialayi Fubara and that of Minister of Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike who are currently enmashed in Political quagmire. For the past 4- months the Rivers state governor Sir Siminialayi Fubara has been faced with impeachment process by the 27 APC defected Rivers State House of Assembly members led by Speaker Martins Chike Amaewhule. But on 18th December 2023 President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Proclamation of 8 Points Resolutions put paid to recalling the 9 Commissioners who resigned their appointments for the administration of Sir Siminialayi Fubara and acceptance of Martins Chike Amaewhule as the Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly which led to the resignation of the alternative Speaker and member representing Ahoada East State Constituency II Edison Ehie PhD.
So,given the division in the political landscape of Rivers State the outcome of the reserved Judgement of Supreme Court remains a commonly discussed issue all over the nook and cranny of Rivers State.
Come Monday 22nd of January 2024, when the Supreme Court of Nigeria reserved judgment is expected to be delivered.
Whichever way the pendulum of Judgement swings to Minister of FCT Nyesom Wike as at today had his political structure intact. Hence the retired Justice Adolphus Enebeli led Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission RVSIEC is expected to conduct Local Government Council, LGC election in few months time but the Chief Emeka Bekee, the self acclaimed State Working Committee SWC Chairman is in opposition to the participation in the LGC election of his faction led by Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Whereas Chief Tony Okocha led faction of the Caretaker Committee of Rivers state APC will be a confirmation of the political structure of Minister of FCT Nyesom Wike should 23 Local Government Areas’ Chairmen grab all the position Ms including 319 Councilorship seats in Rivers State. The upcoming Rivers State Local Government Council elections is going to be a good battle ground and testament for the update on who controls the political landscape of Rivers State.