By Simeon Nwakaudu
As a medium, Sahara Reporters has always been a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the ruling party, her associates and other deadly anti-people politicians. Don't be deceived by the disagreement over the sharing of spoils between the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore and the ruling class. They still work hand in glove.
Therefore, I was only amused when I read the report titled: "Real Reason Rivers Governor, Wike is honouring Appeal Court President, Bulkachuwa with State Banquet." In the report, the Former National Chairman of AAC, Omoyele Sowore attempted to push the narrative that Governor Wike is hosting the retiring President of Court of Appeal because she helped Governor Wike confirm his election. This falsehood is ugly, unfortunate and reckless.
This story published by Sowore's Sahara Reporters is the worst form of vindictive journalism, which is premised on senseless concoction of news, aimed at misleading members of the society and offering needless excuses for the loss suffered by the AAC in Rivers State.
Before I discuss the tragic falsehood of Sowore's AAC on the 2019 Rivers Governorship election, let me first lay the bare facts.
The Retiring President of the Court of Appeal is in Rivers State as part of the process for her to bow out of Service, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
She is not only holding her Validictory Session in Rivers State. She will be in Lagos, Kano, Ilorin, Yola, Gombe and four other cities where she would Commission completed Divisions of the Court of Appeal.
During a Courtesy Visit to Governor Wike, the Retiring President of the Court of Appeal explained her mission.
Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa said: "As it is the custom, the retiring President of the Court of Appeal goes round to say goodbye to the Divisions of the Court of Appeal. Yesterday, we commissioned the 18th Division of the Court of Appeal. There are two more to be commissioned, Kano and Gombe.
"Instead of going round the Divisions, I thought it would be okay if I commissioned the four newly established Divisions of the Court of Appeal and then have validictory sessions in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Ilorin, Yola and then the final one in Abuja. That's why we are here.
"We are really grateful to the Rivers State Government for donating a befitting courtroom to us. We found it really comfortable. I understand our houses are also ready. We are looking forward to their being commissioned after the validictory session."
Sahara Reporters and Omoyele Sowore never cared to report all the activities of the President of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt. They merely got hold of an invitation card and engaged in falsehood with a view to promoting a warped narrative against Governor Wike, who they hate for thrashing their political party during the 2019 Governorship election despite the support of the Nigerian Army, FSARS and the ruling APC.
The entire world witnessed how Sowore, his political party, the AAC, the APC and the Nigerian Army attempted to rig the 2019 Rivers State Governorship election. They were vehemently resisted by Rivers people, who refused the imposition of a stooge, Biokpomabo Awara, who never campaigned or pasted any poster anywhere in the state.
The 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election was a manifestation of the terrible rot in the Nigerian Army. Soldiers of the 6 Division were captured on video in different Constituencies attempting to rob election results and abduct Electoral Officials. In one case in Ogu/Bolo LGA, women were captured on video pulling down a soldier who invaded a Collation Centre. In Okrika, ONELGA , Abua/Odual, Ikwerre LGA similar videos outlined the criminal activities of soldiers.
The most horrific was the failed attempt by soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army to invade INEC Headquarters in Port Harcourt. The aim was to abduct the REC and other officials and thereafter manipulate the Electoral Process. Like other previous attempts , it was foiled by vigilant Rivers people.
Sahara Reporters and Sowore think that the world has forgotten the criminal attempt to rob the Rivers mandate. All the videos are still online. It smacks of the worst form of irresponsibility for Sowore and Sahara Reporters to resume their falsehood on Rivers State when there is no election in sight.
Even the chief sponsor of Sahara Reporters, the Immediate Past Rivers State Governor has resigned himself to fate. He has since discovered that there is a limit to which falsehood and Electoral manipulation can help anyone attain political power.
It is rather embarrassing that Sahara Reporters sees nothing to report on Rivers State except to manufacture falsehood in their desperation to cast Governor Wike in bad light.
With the election over, the focus must be on governance. The plot to convert Rivers State into the cash cow of Sowore, AAC and the ruling APC has failed in 2019. This new attempt at enthroning a new regime of falsehood will fail once again.
All the States where Governorship Elections held passed through the Court of Appeal. None of these elections was nullified at that stage. But Sahara Reporters and Sowore decided to lie about Rivers State because they were stopped from rigging the polls.
Did AAC win any House of Assembly seat in Rivers State? Did they win any House of Representatives seat in Rivers State? Did they win any Senate Seat in Rivers State? How could they have won the Rivers State Governorship election?
How many Legislative Candidates did the AAC/APC/ARMY ALLIANCE field during the State And National Assembly elections? Sowore was a Presidential Candidate of the distressed AAC. What was his score in Rivers State during the election?
AAC OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION OF GOVERNOR WIKE'S RE-ELECTION
During the Sitting of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal, the African Action Congress ( AAC) State Collation Agent for the 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election , Mr Nenye Kocha declared that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike emerged victorious on the strength of the Governorship Collation between April 2 and 3, 2019.
Kocha who appeared as Star Witness of AAC at the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal said all through the Collation of results, there was no time that the defeated AAC Governorship Candidate led in the race.
Kocha who is also the Secretary of AAC said that he is registered member with party card registration number: AAC8016ONL . He joined the AAC in August 2018.
The AAC State collation agent, told the tribunal that the party only had only 418 agents across the 4442 units in the state. He said as a new party, they were able to clear only four House of Assembly candidates and one Governorship candidate for the March 9, 2019 election.
He revealed during cross examination by counsel for 2nd respondent (Wike), Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) that one Donatus Barikor from Gokana LGA and Henry Iyala from Degema LGA who testified for Awara as the party collation agents were imposters and not AAC members.
He further declared that there were no results collated for Gokana and Abua/Odual Local Government Areas during the State Collation of the Rivers State Governorship Election.
The AAC Star Witness said: "We had just four house of Assembly candidates and one Governorship candidate. Out of the 32 Seats in the Assembly, we only had four candidates. No candidate for National Assembly. We had collation agents in only 418 polling units across the 4442 polling units in the state.
"No result was declared for Abua/Odual and Gokana LGAs as at the time of collation. INEC conducted the election in strict compliance of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines".
The Rivers AAC Governorship Election Collation Agent declared that he will not dent his integrity because of mere politics, emphasising that he was at the Tribunal to declare the truth.
He said: "Donatus Barikor for Gokana and Henry Iyala for Degema were not AAC party agents.
"This is the first time I am in politics, coming from industry I am in politics for integrity. APC adopted our Governorship candidate two days to the election".
Kocha admitted at the Tribunal that at the Party no longer has a Deputy Governorship Candidate following the withdrawal of Chief Akpo Bomba Yeeh from the ticket.
He said that the AAC won in only two Local Government Areas, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area and Oyigbo LGA as clearly declared by INEC during the Collation of results.
Nenye added that most of the witnesses presented in court by Biokpomabo Awara initially were not members of AAC . He stated the AAC started in August 2018 and only prepared for the election two days to the polls after it was adopted by the leadership of the APC.
THE CRIMINALITY OF THE FAILED AAC/APC/ARMY ALLIANCE
Former AAC Deputy Governorship Candidate, Chief Akpo Bomba Yeeh captured the criminality of the AAC/APC/ARMY Alliance that attempted to abduct the Rivers mandate.
He said: "After due consultations with my immediate family, friends and supporters, I Chief Akpo Bomba Yeeh, the Deputy Governorship of the AAC for the 2019 Governorship election hereby resign my membership of the AAC and announce my defection to the PDP to join hands with Governor Wike to move the state forward ".
He added: "I was the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the AAC in Rivers State up till today 25th March, 2019 , when I decided to withdraw my candidature and resign from the party with immediate effect.
"The March 9 , Governorship election in Rivers State has been lost and won; lost by my party, African Action Congress (AAC) and its Candidate, Engineer Biokpomabo Awara and undoubtedly and overwhelmingly won by the Governor of Rivers State, the candidate of PDP, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike ".
He said that despite the interference of the security agencies, Rivers people stood their ground and voted for Governor Wike.
He said: "The collated results further showed that contrary to the false claim of fictitious lead by the AAC/APC alliance, the PDP overwhelmingly won all the elections in 18 out of the 19 LGAs, culminating in the declaration and return of the party 26 House of Assembly Constituencies by the Constituency Returning Officers.
"This fact was confirmed on the 13th of March 2019, when INEC stated, as a matter of fact, that it had in it's safe custody collated results for 17 Local Government Areas as well as the declaration of the PDP Candidates for 21 State Constituencies.
"The outcome of the elections on March 9, 2019 clearly showed the preference of the people of Rivers State. Even the blind can see and the deaf can hear the echo that Rivers people overwhelmingly voted to stick with Governor Wike for the next four years to encourage him to continue with the good works".
The Former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the AAC informed that the Minister of Transportation forced him to sign an un-dated letter of resignation to be effective after their expected inauguration.
"I was forced to sign an un-dated letter of resignation as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State to pave way for Rotimi Amaechi to nominate another person as Deputy Governor.
"These were slavish conditions for any rational politician worth his name to accept, but I pretended to play along because doing otherwise at that time would have been too dangerous for the safety of my life, given Rotimi Amaechi's desperation to remove Governor Wike from office and install his stooge in the person of Engr Awara against all odds".
He said that though the AAC Campaign was never serious and never campaigned for the office of the position of Governor of Rivers State, Amaechi during the adoption of the party, said that he would fund the elections and do everything under the sun to give AAC victory at the polls.
He said: "Amaechi disclosed to us that he had already assembled security personnel drawn from the Nigerian Army, the Police, DSS and FSARS to provide adequate security cover and enablement for members of the AAC and APC to effectively rig the Governorship election and have us declared as winners on March 9 , 2019".
He stated that the adoption and promise to deliver AAC was with conditions that conferred de facto governance on the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Chief Yeeh outlined the conditions: "First, he (Amaechi) must be the one to appoint 90 percent of all political office holders, including commissioners, Special Advisers, and chairmen and members of Government Agencies and parastatals.
"Second, he must be the one to nominate and produce all the 23 Local Government Council Chairmen and other principal officers of the councils.
"We, that is, Engr Awara and my humble self must consult and take instructions from him on all financial, policy and fiscal matters, as well as award and payment of all contracts and other financial transactions upon inauguration as Governor and Deputy Governor of the state".
He added: "As a practicing Christian, I have come to the conclusion that the actions and desperate attempts by Amaechi and the AAC/APC alliance to rig the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Rivers State are both morally and legally wrong, reprehensible and inimical to the collective interest of the people of Rivers State.
"The Almighty God will not forgive me if I continue to lend my support to Rotimi Amaechi's perfidy against the democratic rights of the people of Rivers State to freely elect their own leaders. "
THE FEAR OF WIKE
Sahara Reporters and other members of the failed AAC/APC/ARMY alliance are permanently afraid of Governor Wike. They see Governor Wike as a threat to their plot to illegally hijack the nation's democracy. But a man with the people has nothing to fear. The lies and falsehood will not translate into any political benefits for the purveyors of lies.
There is no end in sight when it comes to the nature of criminal falsehood that Sowore and his partners unleash on Rivers State. Since Governor Wike denied them access to Rivers resources after he defeated the Amaechi political conglomerate , Sahara Reporters, Sowore and his Media Associates have been unleashing a medley of concoctions to mislead the world.
AAC/APC/ARMY ALLIANCE WILL CONTINUE TO SUFFER DEFEAT
Psalm 23: 5: declares: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Do we because Sowore is suffering from extended bitterness syndrome stop governance in Rivers State? Never.
Without enemies, the table and anointing wouldn't take place. Without the presence of lying opponents like Sowore and the AAC/APC/ARMY alliance, how would the re-election of Governor Wike be historic?
They say you don't beat a child and not expect the child to cry. I say you don't expect Governor Wike to defeat Sowore and the AAC/APC/ARMY alliance and not expect SAHARA REPORTERS TO CRY. In fact, Sahara Reporters is not crying enough.
Whenever, you see these concoctions in Sahara Reporters against Governor Wike, just know that they are grieving over their loss of Rivers State. These are monstrously corrupt guys who milked Rivers State alongside the immediate past Administration. They are grieving over the loss of steady filthy income.
But one is certain. The AAC/APC/ARMY ALLIANCE will continue to suffer defeat. However, we cannot stop them from lying. Just as they cannot stop Governor Wike from winning.