Former Governor of Rivers State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Peter Odili, has regretted the support he gave to his former political godson, Rotimi Amaechi, which saw him becoming the governor of the state in 2007.
Breaking his long silence at the weekend, Odili lamented that after becoming the governor, Amaechi turned round to destroy all the enduring structures that the founding fathers of the PDP had built with great care and vision.
Odili spoke at Andoni during the campaign tour of the immediate past Minister of State for Education and the PDP candidate for the 2015 gubernatorial election in the state, Nyesom Wike.
“We thought we did the right thing by supporting Amaechi to become the governor of the state. We left a united state. We also left a united party. PDP was one. Rivers State is PDP. There was no other party in Rivers State other than the PDP. Whatever the party hierarchy said would happen.
“The secretary is here to support what I am telling you here today.
“With all the best intentions, we supported his political career and ambition. We thought we did what was best for the state.
“As you know, until a man has power and money, you don’t really know him, but that is a story for the future.
”One thing is clear, we have accepted our mistake and we are determined to correct it in 2015,” Odili stated.
He also wondered: “Who would have thought that a governor who won an election on the platform of the PDP will defect with the mandate of the party to another party? Who would have thought that a governor elected on the platform of the PDP will abandon the PDP to join an opposition party?
“The elders of the party who are here can corroborate what I am saying here today. We ran a cohesive party. We had respect for the elders of the party. We had respect for party members. No one attempted to hijack the PDP because the party was bigger than anyone, no matter his or her position. Party officials were respected because the party was run from the secretariat which was home to all members of the party.”
The former governor, however, commended Wike for putting life back into PDP and reuniting the party after Governor Amaechi defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) along with the former state chairman of the PDP, Godspower Ake, his commissioners, his supporters and all except one of the 23 local government chairmen elected under the aegis of the PDP.
“I want to thank the governorship candidate of the PDP for the 2015 gubernatorial election and the next governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, for miraculously rescuing the party from disintegration and working tirelessly to unite the members of the party. God will bless you.
“By the special grace of God in February we are going to the polls. The first election is to re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term. “The second election will be the gubernatorial election where our candidate, Wike, will emerge as the next governor of Rivers State,” he stated.
On his part, the state chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah, enjoined party members not to be afraid to fully participate in the 2015 general elections.
“Don’t be frightened. Come out during the election to vote for our candidates. “It is PDP for president; PDP for governor; PDP for Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly,” he told them.
“No temptation of what I give will make me come to the public and publish the names of people I have given to. The God who sees the giving in secret rewards openly,” he stated.
He then asked: “How do I describe the road leading to my house in Uyo? I simply say ‘it is the only road in Ewet Housing that is not tarred. The road is not tarred because it is I that is living there.
“If Akpabio had even tarred the road, it would be to his own credit. When the Senate President came the last time, he saw the road and questioned the so-called uncommon transformation in the state.
“Immediately Angella Ashong started praying at the stadium (for government), they went and tarred the road leading to her house just around me. They left my road. Yesterday, I called Alex to come and just grade the road to my house, he said no.
“He said that he needs order from above. Well, I have decided to live with it. But God is rewarding me in other multi-faceted ways.”
Having lost the PDP ticket and feeling tricked by turn out of events shortly before the primaries, Enang who is considered the most vibrant senator in the state in terms of quality of representation, however, promised to continue to serve the people.
“Meanwhile, it is not over until it is over. I am still at the Senate. We have built infrastructure. Nobody went and sold his father’s land to come and build the roads and the flyover. The money that was used to do these things came from the Federal Government, and we deserve to know how much was expended and we deserve the balance. We hope all these figures will be put in the handing over note.
“I have been here for the past eight to nine days. I have been in the streets. I know what the people are feeling I have been at Maitama,” he said.
He challenged Akwa Ibom people to rise up and stop Akpabio’s dynasty in Udom Emmanuel.
Commenting on the recently diverted federal polytechnic he attracted to the state, he said: “Akpabio and his wife are bragging that the Polytechnic is located in their doorstep. I fought for the derivation money that they are enjoying today.”