Photos: President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 Rally/Campaign Visit to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, The People have spoken By Simeon Nwakaudu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Rally on January 28, 2015, has turned out to be one of the most outstanding campaign rallies in recent times. This was inspite of the negative schemes of the outgoing Governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi who unleashed his vast media propaganda machine on Rivers State PDP, throwing up an unprecedented challenge.
Amaechi in his usual reckless financial attitude, threw open Rivers State strong room for the scuttling the home-coming of President Goodluck Jonathan. He took a short break from the embattled General Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organization and returned to Port Harcourt to create unnecessary political tension.
In Port Harcourt, Amaechi refused to approve the use of the Adokiye Amesimaka Stadium and threatened to unleash violence on those who will attend the rally should the PDP have access to the stadium. Amaechi expended huge resources on print and electronic media propaganda, which he personally handled. He moved from one radio station to another granting live interview wherein he threatened youths, women and traditional rulers, warning them not to participate in the Presidential rally. All these tricks failed as the PDP took over the control of the stadium.
On the eve of the Rivers PDP Presidential Campaign rally, Amaechi attempted another regrettable trick. He sent text messages to traditional rulers inviting them over to the Government House, Port Harcourt for what was termed “Christmas gift”. The traditional rulers knowing Amaechi shunned his White Elephant Christmas gift at the end of January. Many argue that had the traditional rulers gone to the Government House, Port Harcourt, Amaechi would have held them hostage at the Banquet Hall, the way he has done to the toothless faction of the State House of Assembly.
The Rivers State PDP Presidential Rally has enlightened Nigerians across the country on the true position of political affairs in Rivers State. It has thrown to the fore the facts on ground. It has shown in very clear terms that the people have deserted the outgoing governor and have chosen to remain with the PDP, the party which belongs to all and a party not tied to the apron strings of a party national leader with an insatiable love for raping the state accounts under his control.
The people of Rivers State also indicated to the outgoing APC administration that their preference for PDP cannot be swayed by the deep pockets of the state government. The crowd that trooped out to welcome President Goodluck Jonathan and re-affirm their support for Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was in excess of 150,000. The 40,000 capacity of the stadium was grossly inadequate to host the crowd as majority of the PDP supporters preferred to hold carnivals outside the stadium and on the dual carriageway to the Port Harcourt International Airport.
By every calculation, the Rivers State PDP Presidential Campaign Rally was a mega success. The rally more than any previous PDP campaign in Rivers State set in motion the process for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan and the reclamation of the PDP stolen mandate in Rivers State.
The meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State Traditional rulers in Port Harcourt was development oriented. The President pledged that he would use his second term to improve initiation and execution of projects across Rivers State. The Ogba of Ogbaland, HRM Chukwumena Nnam Obi 11, on behalf of all traditional rulers of Rivers State performed the traditional endorsement rites on President Jonathan.
He held another meeting with religious leaders in the state. That meeting also witnessed frank discussions.
It was at the stadium that the people of Rivers State exhibited their love and endorsement for President Jonathan, Barrister Wike and all PDP candidates in the forthcoming general elections. In Rivers State, there is no room for another political party, let alone a political party built on deceit and theft of the people’s mandate.
South-South Coordinator of Jonathan Campaign Organization and Governor of Cross Rivers State, Senator Liyel Imoke adjudged the Rivers State PDP Rally as one of the best organised that he has attended. Governor Imoke said that the genuine love shown by Rivers people towards President Jonathan is a confirmation of the fact that the President will be overwhelmingly voted across the state.
The governor who was flanked by his colleagues in attendance declared that the Rivers State PDP Governorship Candidate, Barriater Nyesom Wike is a governor in waiting, saying that the candidate is only awaiting his formal inauguration.
The chairman, PDP Governors Forum, Chief Godswill Akpabio, in his remarks, said that PDP will win all elections in Rivers State in view of the achievements of President Jonathan across the state. He said that the superlative outing of the party on January 28 is an indication that Rivers people will team up with the rest of Nigeria to massively vote for President Jonathan.
For those privileged to speak at the rally, it was an opportunity to reiterate the fact that Rivers State has a deep PDP culture that cannot be defeated by the mere defection of an outgoing governor who has lost touch with the people of Rivers State.
One important outcome of the Rivers State PDP Presidential Campaign Rally was the opportunity it presented to the Presidential Assistant on Millennium Development Goals, Dr Precious Gbeneol to reel out the list of achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan as they relate to Rivers State.
Pressed for time, Dr Gbebeol rushed the very lengthy list. Even at the that, she could not go through all the projects. For Vice President Namadi Sambo, it was an unforgettable experience as he returned to a city where he had his roots. He danced excitedly to the tunes provided by homeboy Duncan Mighty. When he climbed the podium, an elated Vice President also outlined key projects executed by the Jonathan administration in Rivers State.
The excitement level at the stadium grew to a feverish pitch when the PDP National Chairman, Dr Adamu Muazu stepped forward to perform a much-expected handing of PDP flag to Rivers State PDP Govenorship, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and his running mate, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry-Banigo.
Prior to presenting the PDP Grade-A team to lead the party back to Government House, Port Harcourt, Dr Muazu commended the Rivers People for their support for President Jonathan, Barrister Wike and all other PDP candidates in the forthcoming elections.
It was quintessential Barrister Nyesom Wike who addressed the mammoth crowd at the Adokiye Amasimaka Stadium. He electrified the atmosphere with his passionate and frank address which explained in clear terms why President Goodluck Jonathan should be re-elected.
Barrister Wike declared that the future of Rivers State is secured in the PDP. He said that the people will offer their overwhelming support to Jonathan who is a Rivers man through marriage and fraternal ties.
First Lady of the Nation, Dame Patience Jonathan who hails from Rivers State joined other speakers to drum up support for President Jonathan, Barrister Wike and other PDP candidates.
President Jonathan also received a well deserved endorsement from two former captains of the Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo and Kanu Nwankwo.
The massive turnout of Rivers people for the PDP Presidential Campaign Rally despite the APC sponsored negative propaganda and antics served as a tonic for President Goodluck Jonathan. He danced from his seat to the podium, waving happily to the citizens of Rivers State who have vowed to support him with their votes.
President Jonathan assured the people of Rivers State of excellent development projects when re-elected on February 14. He said like other parts of Niger Delta, Rivers people will enjoy unprecedented development.
The campaign rally also provided President Jonathan the opportunity to publicly endorse Rivers State PDP governorship candidate, Barrister Nyesom Wike.
It goes without saying that the successful Rivers State PDP Presidential Campaign Rally is a major milestone in the march by the PDP to reclaim Rivers State Government House otherwise called the Brick House. The highly successful campaign rally has forever silenced members of the vociferous opposition, who are expected to forever hold their peace until they are formally trounced by PDP candidates on February 14 and 28.
Special Assistant (Media) to Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Rivers State PDP Governorship Candidate.