The Court of Appeal’s judgement that upheld the decision of the Election Tribunal in the Uchendu v Sekibo was delivered in line with fairness, equity, justice and good conscience. Constituents of Rivers East Senatorial District would agree with me that from 2015 when the corruption-personified, malfeasance-soaked and character-deficient Gesila Khan, former INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Rivers State, manipulated the people’s will to please her paymasters till Thursday when justice was done to the people of the District, the people were denied effective representation. It was like a situation of shaving someone’s hair in his absence. The 2015 election in Rivers State will go down in history as the worst election in Nigeria and by extension, the African continent. It was an election where value for human lives were put in abeyance by those who placed more value to political positions. It was a bloodletting exercise. The aggressors were members of the PDP. The PDP jettisoned values and morality. They jettisoned principles and scruples. All that mattered to them was the positions they vied for. The PDP made life terrible for Rivers people, especially those who identified themselves in the party with the progressive ideology, the APC. It was harrowing, horrific and dehumanizing.
Rivers State was declared a theatre of war, before, during and after the 2015 election by the Supreme Court albeit the volte face when they later delivered a judgement in favour of Wike in the Wike v Peterside case. A judgement that still daze our minds with unanswered questions. The judgement of the Apex Court is not appealable and so the decision was accepted by the APC. The APC placed their hope in God-the unbiased arbiter.
The corrupt electoral process supervised by character-bereft Gesila Khan produced representatives without the input of the electorates. The process produced unscrupulous men and women in the mould and shape of Gesila Khan. The products of the anything-goes electoral process were not only visionless but completely removed from the people as, ab initio, they didn’t have any contact with the people. The only contact they had was with the notorious fraudster and manipulator, Gesila Khan and her gang of fraudulent election manipulators who subverted the people’s will. For two years now, there has been an eclipse of representation.
Chief Andrew Uchendu, now Senator representing the good people of the Rivers East Senatorial District and others who suffered the same electoral manipulation of 2015 didn’t give up. They approached the judicial processes allowed by the law of the land. The journey was rigorous, tortuous and tough. The journey went back and forth, enough to discourage a faint-hearted person. But a man of faith and conviction never abandons his belief. They believed in the judicial system. They believed that men of good conscience still exist in the judiciary and at last justice was served.
The lesson learnt from this judgement is that conviction is the driving force in all human endeavours. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, it is difficult to suppress truth.
The journey for the liberation of an insecure, highly plundered and impunity-driven Rivers State has just started. True Rivers people should avail themselves of the opportunity of an envisioned peaceful Rivers State through progressive representation, that way, growth and development will be achieved. Congratulations to the winners and their dogged constituents.
—Achor Omodu writes from Port Harcourt.