A prominent chief in Rivers State, HRH, Chief Owabie Tobin, the Eze Onumini I of PHALGA, in an exclusive interview with The Newswriter in Port Harcourt, hinted that Hon. Victor Ihunwo had gathered some group of persons to cast their votes for Hon. Nyesom Wike for the Senate election in 2015, as a payback for making it possible for him to win the Rivers State House of Assembly seat for a second team, last 2011 election.
As 2015 election approach, more facts have began to emerge in the political arena as politicians are indicating interests on who to cast their votes for.
Prior to this moment, there were speculations round the state that the Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is getting set to contest the plump Senatorial position after the expiration of his tenure in 2015, just as the former Chief of Staff to the Rivers State government, Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike who is now the Minister for Education for state, is planning to run for the same Rivers East Senatorial District.
The battle line seemed to have been drawn between him and his former boss, who are in the same political camp.
According to Owabie, Hon. Victor Ihunwo, lawmaker representing Phalga constituency III in the Rivers State House of Assembly, is making a solid foundation to ensure that Barr. Nyesom Wike which he described as his political messiah in 2011 House of Assembly election, emerge winner in 2015 House of Senate election.
“Although Amaechi helped me to clinch House of Assembly seat in 2011 for my second term, I will not forget Nyesom Wike because it was through him that governor Amaechi allowed me to come back to the state House of Assembly for the second tenure,” the lawmaker was quoted to have said.
It was also gathered that Hon. Victor Ihunwo’s mother came from the same place with Hon. Nyesom Wike, in Wike’s family in Obio/Akpor local government area of Rivers State, another factor for supporting the former Chief of Staff, Rivers State Government House, instead of governor Amaechi.
However, Chief Owabie Tobin has challenged Hon. Ihunwo on his statement to support Nyesom Wike for the senate seat, stressing that Hon. Ihunwo can not convince hundred persons to vote for PDP.
According to him, “I, as the co-coordinator of Progressive Forum of Nigeria (PFON) in Phalga was among the PDP members who supported Hon. Victor Ihunwo to win the last April 2011 election, but he paid us back by dumping us after the election”
The Royal father further stressed that if governor Amaechi is actually interested to run for the senate position after his tenure in 2015, “we are prepared to vote for him and he (Amaechi) will emerge winner at the end of the day.”
Chief Owabie advised governor Amaechi to be careful with Hon. Victor Ihunwo and put his eyes on him as the lawmaker has boasted that he would rather save his money for the 2015 election to support Nyesom Wike, than using it for constituency projects that would benefit the people of his area.
The Royal father also hinted that Hon. Endurance Elenwo, a councillor representing Phalga ward 15 had advised the people of his ward not to support Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and governor Amaechi for removing fuel subsidy, that they are fighting for their own personal interests and not for the people.
He challenged Elenwo’s statement and urged him not to lead the people of ward 15 into problem, adding that Hon. Blessing A. Nsiegbe, the lawmaker representing Phalga constituency II in the Federal House of Representatives had advised him and the PFON members to support governor Amaechi and Goodluck Jonathan on their bid to remove fuel subsidy because it is for the masses interest.
The Royal father maintained that the people of ward 15 in Phalga had supported governor Amaechi and Goodluck Jonathan which was why they did not join in the protest against the removal of fuel subsidy.
Chief Owabie commended Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo for the mature manner he used in handling Phalga ward 15 crises during the last PDP ward congress.
According to him, the Phalga ward 15 councillor Hon. Endurance Elenwo wanted to impose a non-indigene who hails from Akwa Ibom, Mr. K.O., to become the chairman of ward 15, which brought commotion, but the situation was laid to rest with the intervention of Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo, the Mayor of Phalga.
The Royal father advised Hon. Akarolo to ensure that the former ward 15 Phalga chairman emerged winner because he performed creditably in his first tenure.
All efforts to reach Hon. Victor Ihunwo to comment on the allegation against him proved abortive as the lawmaker claimed to be so busy not to allow the reporter see him in his office. ##
Emeka Jilly Ejiowhor