By Innocent Iwara
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is not contesting the June 2018 local council elections in Rivers State due to its principled stand and case in court but a new political party, the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), has stepped out in bold shoes to give the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a run for their money.
The new party said on Friday, April 20, 2018, that it should not be seen as a lightweight because those who made PDP and APC big were the same people behind the GPN.
Their first step is to go spiritual, probably believing that the problems of the state and nation are more than the eye can see. Thus, as many political parties jostle ahead of 2019 general elections, the GPN has took to the streets of Port Harcourt pouring prayers.
This event saw hundreds of party members gather at Rumuola Junction from where they marched the streets of Port Harcourt in Rivers State yesterday.
The South-South coordinator of the party, Alpine Whyte, told newsmen that the “prayer walk”, as the party called it, was meant to better position the party which is just having a its debut in the marshy waters of Nigerian politics.
He said the prayer was also meant to appeal to God to intervene and use the party to salvage Rivers State and Nigeria from misrule.
“The land of Nigeria is sick. The land of Rivers State is sick. Things have gone abnormally. Things are no longer the way it is supposed to be and we cannot continue to fold our hands and watch things go this way. This is a new party that has come to do things in a democratic way and if we don’t start it right, we might miss it at the end of the day.
“So we came together as a party and we told ourselves that this day we will come out and we will walk and march in the streets of Port Harcourt in Rivers State. As we lift our hands, pray and cry unto God, God will heal this land.
“You have seen the killings and abnormalities in this country, it is not normal. It is an insane situation. We want God to intervene in the affairs of this country. That is why we have come out,” said Whyte.
But Whyte said the party would not entertain any kind of malpractice in the forthcoming June 16 local government elections in Rivers State and 2019 general elections.
He therefore asked the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be open and conduct the election without bias.
“What we will not take in this election is a situation where one man will sit somewhere and announce results. We will not take it because we have carefully looked at our people. We have screened them and they have the prerequisite to run and we are very confident we are going to win.
“But 2019 is going to be a different ball game and that is why we are here and GPN has come to change the narrative. I don’t see them (APC and PDP) as giants. I see them as grasshoppers and I know that the supposed giants you are seeing, there are people who made them giants and those people who made them giants are the people who are here,” Whyte said.
He added; “The party is prepared to go into elections. June 16, 2018, is the local government elections. We have no fear. We have confidence to go in. We are not just going in to participate, we are going in to make a difference.
“All we need is the umpire to be open. They (RSIEC) should give us a level playing ground to go into this game. We have had situations where one party will have the entire 23 local government chairmen and 319 councillors, which we know is not possible.
“We have men that are accepted in their wards. We have men that are accepted in their communities and we have carefully looked at it and we have brought out people. We didn’t superimpose on them. We allowed the communities and the various compounds to bring out people they wanted and we know that these are tested and trusted people.”
The name of the coordinate sounds strange to Rivers politics but the man said those behind him were strong, lending suspicion that some of those whose political parties walked out of the plans for the June elections may have taken another route.
The APC went to court to challenge the disbandment of the previous local council chairmen and councilors who won under a hurred election before Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi left in 2015. The party is insisting on that tenure. Caretaker councils have been ruling the 23 councils since Nyesom Wike came to power on May 29, 2015.
Now, the governor felt that the tenure of the team he disbanded would have finished even if they had been in power, and is ready to conduct elections.
On the other hand, the APC feels that if they should win the court case, the judge would order them to finish their terms, going by the position of the Supreme Court on disturbed tenures in the Peter Obi case in Anambra State.