Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Prince Uche Secondus is not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and, therefore, cannot speak for or interfere in the party’s affairs.
Secondus, the immediate past national chairman of PDP, while alluding to governor Wike, was reported in the media to have said that no one person has powers to impose a presidential candidate on Rivers electorate.
Governor Wike said Secondus was a meddlesome interloper because he had been expelled as a member of PDP by his ward in Andoni, an action that a court of competent jurisdiction affirmed.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of the Aluu- Omagwa Link Road that was held at Omuagubia playground by Cross Junction, Omagwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area on Saturday.
“I read the newspaper this morning where a former member of our party, one Uche Secondus said that no one man can impose a presidential candidate on Rivers people.
“He is not a member of our party. His ward expelled him from the party, and the court confirmed it. He went to the Court of Appeal, but he lost. He went to Supreme Court; the matter is coming up on October 23, 2023.”
Governor Wike continued, “I told him you would not be national chairman to conduct the convention. Did he conduct it? Was he at the national convention? Up until now, you are not a member of our party.
“And in any case, I never said I would impose my candidate on Rivers people. I said I was going to tell Rivers people who I was going to support and who I was going to campaign for.
“But don’t blame them; you will not understand the grammar when you didn’t finish secondary school.”
Governor Wike emphasised that, in any case, Rivers people will listen to him more than Secondus because they can trust him as a leader who will continue to defend the interest of the State.
“So, Mr Secondus, I have no problem with you being the technical adviser to Atiku. But don’t speak on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State, because you are not a party member.”
Governor Wike asserted that it is not surprising that Secondus, beclouded by his half education, preferred a poorly educated candidate, Senator Lee Maeba, to have emerged as Senator over Senator Magnus Abe, a more educated Rivers son.
The governor recalled how Secondus and his cohorts, now christened Abuja Rivers politicians, had always tried to circumvent his political intentions but failed.
The governor said he has no apology for unsettling the so-called Abuja politicians when the party structure was taken over by him in 2013 while beating them into joining with him because there was no other choice left for them.
“Most of you didn’t know that all these people who run away to Abuja have never worked with us. I led the team that kicked them out of office in 2007. Yes, I have no apology for that.
“In 2014, despite the fact I was the one who fought for the structure of the party, most of them sabotaged me at the back to run for governor against me. When they saw no hope, there was nothing else for them to do; they had no choice but to come and join us.”
Governor Wike observed that in their usual manner, they regrouped against him and clandestinely supported one of them to become the governorship flag bearer of PDP in the State for the 2023 general election but were frustrated.
The Rivers State governor listed that he embarked on a legal battle to reclaim Rivers State ceded oil wells to Imo State and Bayelsa States, and today, proceeds from them are received by Rivers State.
Governor Wike also mentioned the ongoing legal battle over the illegality of VAT collection by the federal government when the State should collect it.
The legal battle over the deduction of Rivers State fund for the Police Trust Fund was won in favour of the State, including the foiling of the attempt made to illegally abduct Mrs Joi Nunieh, who though, is not one of his political supporters, was protected because she is a Rivers daughter.
Governor Wike said one of the reasons Rivers people can not trust Secondus is because of the ugly role he played in 2019.
He said it was about election time when Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Bukola Saraki visited him to ask what he was expecting for Rivers State. The demand was apparent, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Petroleum.
But Governor Wike stated that what Secondus did was to go behind to demand an oil block for himself and not for the State.
Governor Wike also recalled how Secondus had always frustrated the completion of projects that were under his purview, including the Andoni axis of the Ogoni-Opobo-Andoni Unity Road.
“Ask him, what happened when the military took over, when the NRC was in power, Ada George was the governor of the State. Ask him what happened at Ohamini Road. Why was he told to frog jump?
“Who flogged him? Colonel Akubundu(Rtd), who was the organising secretary, flogged him; why? He couldn’t do the project of the Ohamini Road.”
Governor Wike further alleged, “Ask him, from 1999, when Odili became governor, every project Dr Odili gave to Andoni through him, ask him, which one was commissioned.
“Every company that the state government would pay money to instead of you to allow the company to do the job, you’ll collect the money. That is why it’s difficult and we have not been able to commission the Andoni aspect of the road.”
Describing the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr George-Kelly Dakorinima Alabo, said the Aluu-Omagwa Link Road is 9.8km long and 9.5meter wide.
He explained that the road would serve as an alternative route for motorists to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Imo State.