No fewer than 33 political parties will participate at the various levels of the 2019 general elections in Rivers State, except the ruling political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
No thanks to series of judgments of several Courts of law, which not only barred the APC from fielding candidates for the general elections, also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove names of the candidates from the ballot papers and other electoral materials.
Some of the political parties participating on the elections are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Accord Party (AP), the Labour Party (LP), the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and the African Democratic Party (ADP).
The leading governorship candidates of parties include, the incumbent Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (PDP); Dumo Lulu-Briggs (AP); Victor Fingesi (ADP); Isaac Wonwu (LP), Precious Elekima (SDP); Elem Chinweike of the Hope Democratic Party; (HDP) and Joseph Princewill for the Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN);
Others are Tamunopriala Jumbo of the Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC); Ngoye Benebo of the United Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Kukang Barine for the All Peoples Movement (APM).
In all, the political parties are presenting no fewer than 40 Senatorial candidates and a total of 160 House of Representatives candidates for the February 16 National Assembly election in the state. Also, about 300 House of Assembly candidates are participating in the general elections on the platform of the political parties.
For the PDP, its campaign is on sustaining the legacies and development strides of the Wike-led administration.
Speaking during the flag-off of the PDP campaign at Botem-Tai in Tai local government area of Rivers State, Governor Wike said in line with his commitment to the expansion of leadership opportunities, youths and women will take 65 percent of the appointments.
He said that he has entered a covenant with the people of the state to deliver more projects for them during his second term, noting that they are under obligation to protect their votes during the elections.
Wike stated that the last three and half years, his administration has executed key projects in the area.
For the governorship candidate of Accord Party, Lulu-Briggs, he believes that although the current administration in the state has done the most it can in terms of good governance, it is not good enough for the people of the state.
He said if elected as the next governor of Rivers State, it will be the responsibility of his administration to recover the state and make the people enjoy the blessings, which God has given to to them.
The Accord Party governorship candidate said: “I have as Dumo Lulu-Briggs sworn eternal fidelity to the just causes and pursuit for happiness for every Rivers man woman and child. I believe that people in government should no longer simulate grief they do not feel or an affliction they do not bear.
“The incumbent government has done the most it can but this is not good enough. So, we have the responsibility to recover our state and make our people enjoy the blessings God has given to us.
“When we get into government we will not be defined by the number of roads that we have built but by the number of people that we have taken out of poverty into prosperity; and the education of every Rivers child is an irreducible minimum, it should be an enforceable right of every Rivers child to be educated by the Rivers state government.
So, when I become governor, I am going to do what others have not done. I shall do the people’s work and take that work very seriously.”
On his part, the governorship candidate of SDP, Precious Elekima, said if elected, his administration will ensure that no community in the state, amongst other things, suffer from flood.
“I have taken notice that our state was not composed of detached and distant communities, providence has in a particular manner blessed us with variety of soil and innumerable streams and rivers for the delight and accommodation of all of us as one people.
“Unfortunately, some blessings have at sometimes impacted negatively on our people, the immediate task, of course, is to learn from our brothers and friends worldwide who have experienced such calamities, we see a sense of urgency to provide a blueprint using scientific techniques and advanced technologies to overcome this unfortunate natural challenge.
“Based on my findings and expert advice, I have decided that upon my swearing in on May 29, 2019, my government shall embark on the immediate construction of LEVEES ( Levees is an embankment, floodbank or stopbank, built to prevent the over flow of a river) it will regulate water levels, it will parallel to the course of the rivers in its floodplain or alongside low lying coastline, in all the flood affected areas in Rivers state.
“This will be the last time any of these communities will suffer from flood, within 6 months into my administration all communities prone to flooding would have been completely protected from rivers overflow. We have discussed with experts in states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas in USA, who have the same terrain as Rivers State.”
Victor Fingesi, who is the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Party (ADP), also promised to tackle flooding in communities in the state by establishing drainage and flood control authority, if elected as the next governor of Rivers State,
Fingesi said the authority would identify waterways, construct gutters and canals and open blocked drainage systems in order to empty the flood to nearby streams, rivers and seas.
He frowned at the manner the authorities had allowed individuals to build on drainage ways, describing it as urban development rascality, pointing out that there could hardly be any part of Port Harcourt that do not experience flood during rainy season,
The ADP governorship candidate stated that the problem of flood was dear to Rivers people and that he had already initiated contacts with foreign firms, which would undertake satellite map out of the topography of Port Harcourt to identify existing drainages and undertake the construction of gigantic canals and protection embarkments if voted to power.
Fingesi urged Rivers people to vote for him, adding that he was the only candidate with a clear cut vision to address the problems of the state.
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