The loss of the 2015 Presidential Election left the PDP bruised, fatally injured and heading for the grave. The party was villified, derided and left to die a shameful death. It was left in the wilderness to plead to death.
It became obvious that the PDP had been betrayed by forces that worked for the emergence of the APC Federal Government. These forces struggled desperately to end the existence of the PDP at all costs. All manner of lethal injections were pumped into the PDP bloodstream.
Several leaders abandoned the PDP. Nobody wanted to be associated with the party. All the cities refused to host PDP National meetings. Leaders spoke in hushed tones behind the curtains.
It was at this point that the pride of Niger Delta, Nigeria's Political Conscience and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike rose in support of the ailing PDP. He mobilised patriotic PDP faithful from across the country to work for the revival of the party.
This move met with internal and external resistance. The then PDP Acting National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff worked as an agent of the APC Federal Government to destroy the foundation of the PDP.
Ali Modu Sheriff worked relentlessly to scuttle the May 21, 2016 PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt. Governor Wike led pro-PDP forces and ensured the emergence of the National Caretaker Committee to midwife the recovery of the party.
Port Harcourt was gracious enough to host yet another National Convention of the PDP on August 17, 2016. This time, the APC Security Forces took over Sharks Stadium and prevented PDP faithful from accessing the facility.
It was Governor Wike who worked with other well-meaning PDP leaders to proceed to the Rivers State PDP Secretariat where an emergency national convention was held. This National Convention extended the tenure of the Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee.
This move led to a lengthy legal battle, which started at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt and terminated at the Supreme Court. Governor Wike stood for the party. So did Port Harcourt.
The Abuja National Convention which consolidated the revival of the party, with the emergence of the National Working Committee was built around the mobilisation capacity of Governor Wike.
With the re-positioning of the party as fertilised in Port Harcourt, through the provision of a revival centre, PDP became a lively opposition party and a credible alternative to the failed APC Federal Government.
A strong PDP attracted political bigwigs from across the country. Those who initially jumped ship after destroying Jonathan returned and the path to national revival was energised.
Ahead of the 2019 General elections, the PDP National Leadership resolved to host the National Convention in Port Harcourt. This was a decision taken without any form of lobby from the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, who was not even at the said meeting.
Another meeting which involved the PDP Governors, the National Working, Board of Trustees and Presidential Aspirants was held to ratify the decision. Not even one Presidential Aspirant opposed Port Harcourt as a venue for the PDP National Working Committee.
Therefore, it is uncalled for a few Presidential Aspirants to sponsor media propaganda and attacks on Port Harcourt serving as the host of the National Convention.
If Port Harcourt was good enough to assist in the rescue of PDP from the hideout of "political kidnappers", then it is good enough to determine the next direction of the country.
The sponsored political blackmail and campaign of calumny against Port Harcourt City will not suffice at this point. There is no southern Presidential Aspirant, neither is any Rivers man contesting the primary.
Governor Wike's position is simple. It is in defence of Rivers State, her people, her economy and the PDP.
Gombe State Governor and PDP Presidential Aspirant, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo said: " "Without you (Wike) today, I don't know where our party would have been? Because you have contributed so immensely to the reformation of the New PDP that we have and all of us are enjoying today.
"PDP like you know has come through challenges. God saved us, Wike saved the party too."
Port Harcourt has the accommodation facilities, the security and the loyalty to host the National Convention. Two other cities, Lagos and Abuja have equal facilities to host the National Convention, but they are completely APC controlled. Same way they couldn't host the revival national conventions of the PDP, so they cannot host the consolidation national convention of the PDP.
Politics is a game of interest. While the said Presidential Aspirant working against Rivers State believes that he stands a better chance if the National Convention is held in another, the interest of Governor Wike is on the economy, relevance and place of Rivers State in the scheme of things.
He said: Let me warn the party, if you dare, Rivers State will teach the party a lesson. Those days have passed when they took Rivers State for granted. Nobody can use and dump Rivers State.
"No Presidential Aspirant can use and dump Rivers State. We never lobbied for it, we never asked for it, but it will boost the economy of the state. People will make money.
"Those who are against Rivers people from making money to improve their businesses, will not get our support ".
"I don't know why anyone who wants to be President, will be afraid of a venue. Then you are not prepared for the election.
"Nobody should dare Rivers State any longer. Enough is enough. PDP should know that we are not a punching bag. We are not a people you can use and push. We are not harlots. Whenever you want, you come. When you finish, you push us aside.
"We will retaliate at the appropriate time. When you go, tell your colleagues, the Presidential Aspirants. We were not interested, but having given it to us, you cannot insult us".
The argument that Port Harcourt convention would confer an unfair advantage on Governor Wike is neither here nor there. When the party needed a home, Port Harcourt was always available.
The same propagandists hired to fight Port Harcourt as a venue of the National Convention, are the same APC Folks who fought Governor Wike right from the beginning.
The hiring of APC social media contractors to malign Rivers State and Governor Wike is an indication of the interest of this PDP Presidential Aspirant who lost the APC Presidential Primary in 2014.
When it comes to the defence of Rivers State, Governor Wike cannot be shaken by media blackmail and character assassination. Governor Wike will never watch anyone destroy Port Harcourt as a destination of choice under any guise.
Governor Wike is a politician whose strategy is anchored on the people. He is not the everyday Nigerian politician. He thrives on truth, straightforward approach and advancement of the interest of his people.
Wike's politics is not built on political correctness and false speeches aimed at impressing political predators and deceiving his followers. At every point, you know where Wike stands and he stands with his people.
However, this point must be made very quickly. Wherever, the National Convention is held, Rivers State is a force that cannot be discountenanced. Governor Wike's contention is simple, the days of blackmailing Rivers State out of its prime place at critical times are over.