ANAYO ONUKWUGHA captures the deluge of endorsements for 2019 Rivers governorship race that continue to come the way of Governor Nyesom Wike and the governor’s condition for obliging his people.
So far, no fewer than three major ethnic nationalities in Rivers State, including Ogoni, Wakrike and Ikwerre have endorsed Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike for a second term come 2019.
The first ethnic nationality to endorse the Rumueprikom-born legal practitioner were leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme local government areas, which make up the Ogoni ethnic nationality, Senator Magnus Abe comes from.
The PDP leaders, in a communiqué read by Senator Lee Maeba, declared, “That given the outstanding performance of his excellency, the governor and his galvanising prowess for the interest of the state, we the Ogoni people in the PDP unanimously urge him to present himself for a second term in office as the governor of Rivers State in 2019.
“That we encourage all Ogoni sons and daughters to give unalloyed support and continuous solidarity to the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike for the sustenance of his developmental strides in Ogoniland.”
The Ogoni PDP leaders also resolved that they will never allow the rigging of elections in Ogoni land with the use of the military and other security agencies.
“That never again shall we allow the military, the police and other security agencies to intimidate and influence the outcome of any election in all the four LGAs of Ogoniland. The will of the people must prevail and their votes must count,” they said.
The Ogonis were promptly followed by leaders, traditional rulers, women groups and chiefs of Ikwerre ethnic nationality, who endorsed Wike for a second term.
The Ikwerre groups include; Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, Supreme Council of Government Recognised Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders, Ikwerre Gospel Ministers Forum, Iwhuroha Women Association, Ikwerre Daughters National Congress, Ikwerre in Academia, Ikwerre in the Media and Okpo Club (Ikwerre Lawyers).
The groups in an address read on their behalf by the president-general of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, Professor Simeon Achinewhu stated that the endorsement of the governor was premised on his outstanding achievements.
Achinewhu congratulated Governor Wike for his state-wide developmental projects, saying that Ikwerre people are proud of him.
He said, “The Ogbakor Ikwerre unanimously urge you to accept the call from other ethnic nationalities, various organisations and well meaning Nigerians to run for a second term in office as a result of your numerous achievements.
“The good people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality have asked me to notify Your Excellency that they have resolved to organise a civic reception and to install Your Excellency as Ikwerre custom demands as the “Dike-ogu” of Ikwerre land.”
For the people of Wakirike ethnic nationality, made up of Okrika, Ogu/Bolo and parts of Port Harcourt City local government area of the state, they endorsed Wike for a second term in recognition of his excellent performance.
Traditional and political leaders of the Wakrike ethnic nationality announced the endorsement during their solidarity visit to the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt.
In an address on behalf of the Wakrike ethnic nationality, chairman of the Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs, Chief Sunday Kalaowolo said Wike has always treated Okrika people fairly through projects execution and appointments.
Kalaowolo said, “As the political drumbeat starts in 2018, we the Wakrike people under God, ask you to run for a second term in office.
“We will lay down our lives, not only to vote for you, but to defend our votes. All Okrikans are solidly behind you for 2019. We are sending notice to your detractors that there will be no vacancy in Government House, Port Harcourt by 2019.”
Not to long ago, thousands of Rivers youths staged a four-door work, to endorse Wike for second term.
The four-kilometre walk tagged “Walk4Wike Season 2,” took off from the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park through the length of Aba Road and terminated at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
In the course of the long trek, the youths shared handbooks, DVDs containing Governor Wike’s achievements and sang pro-Wike campaign songs to further sell the governor to the people.
The walk which was coordinated by “D-Source Connect Group,” had endorsements and participation from hundreds of social media and civil society groups .
Speaking after the walk, convener of the Walk4Wike Season 2, Barrister Vincent Dike Amadi, declared that Rivers youths resolved to stage the walk as a way of telling the international community and other Nigerians that the people were in full support of Wike.
Amadi stated that contrary to the negative propaganda being sponsored by opposition elements, the governor has performed creditably, churning out people-oriented projects across the state.
He said, “The youths of Rivers State have come to say that come 2019, Governor Wike should present himself for a second term. We will march across the 23 local government areas to promote the candidature of Governor Wike and to ensure that he wins in 2019.”
In his remarks, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Ken Chikere said that the walk was an endorsement of the performance of the governor.
However, few days ago, to the shock of several of his admirers and supporters, Wike declared that he will accept the numerous endorsements by different ethnic nationalities when he receives their firm assurance that they will defend their votes in 2019.
He stated that the way that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government has failed in all areas, it will set out to write results in 2019, hence the need for the people to defend their votes.
Speaking at a civic reception organised in his honour by the Apara Kingdom in Port Harcourt, the governor said, “I will declare when you assure me you are ready to protect our votes.
“The way Nigeria is going today, the APC-led federal government is only prepared to write results. But this time, the results will write them.”
He stated that the APC has failed Nigerians, stating that the current fuel scarcity was a sad confirmation of the suffering that the citizens face under APC’s national leadership.
Wike said, “Even if there is fuel, there is no money to buy fuel. Today, the exchange rate of the dollar to naira has degenerated and prices of foodstuffs have gone beyond the reach of Nigerians. They deceived Nigerians with all kinds of lies, but today they are compounding the problems of the people.”
The governor assured the people of Apara Kingdom that he will not let them down, saying he will continue to churn out developmental projects.
“I will continue to remain focused. Some people did not expect us to perform very excellently, but we have been able to put them to shame,” he said.
Wike stated that he was developing Rivers State because he wanted to walk the streets after leaving office without being guarded by soldiers like those he said failed the people.
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