Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders in the three Kalabari local government areas of Asari Toru, Akuku Toru and Degema of Rivers State have endorsed former Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike as their preferred governorship aspirant in the forthcoming Rivers PDP governorship primary.
The leaders, compromising seasoned politicians, traditional rulers, women leaders and youth groups declared on Tuesday that they would vote en-bloc for Wike because of his commitment to the development of Rivers State and the liberation of the people.
The endorsement was concluded at the PDP Kalabari Stakeholders Forum held on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
Former chairman of the United Bank for Africa, Chief Ferdinand Alabrabra said that never in living memory have the Kalabari people been so united behind an aspirant the way they have gathered to support Wike, pointing out that this is a good omen for the development of Rivers State.
He said that the people resolved on the endorsement because Wike salvaged the party from destruction as envisaged by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, which would have damaged the chances of President Jonathan winning in Rivers State in 2015.
He asked: “Where were these few elders now addressing press conferences on a daily basis when Wike saved the party from destruction and rebuilt it completely from the scratch. We have endorsed him and we shall all work for him”.
A Kalabari leader and former Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Alabo David Brigg declared that the endorsement of Barrister Wike by the Kalabari people stems from the fact that he has the capacity to lead PDP to victory and deliver Rivers State from under-development and mismanagement of resources.
Former INEC Commissioner, Professor Felix Ideria said that the people of Kalabari resolved to support Wike because of his commitment to rural and community development.
Also speaking, Former Local Government Chairman of Degema Local Government and PDP Leader in Degema, Pleasant Brigg said that the quest for excellence in governance convinced the Kalabari people to pitch their tenth with Barrister Wike.
Leader of PDP in Asari Toru and former council chairman, Mr Opakirite Jackreec said that ethnic politics being preached by some aspirants has failed as Kalabari people prefer to vote Wike who is an accomplished administration and proven leader.
Chief Precious Elekima, PDP leader in Akuku Toru and chairman Kalabari PDP Stakeholders Forum urged Barrister Wike to remain focused as the Kalabari people are determined to ensure his victory during the primary and general election.
In her address, Mrs Nimi Tom Manuel, Women Leader, Kalabari PDP Stakeholders Forum, said that the Kalabari women have been praying and working hard for the success of Barrister Wike during the forthcoming primary and election.
In his response, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, PDP Governorship Aspirant, Rivers State declared that he would not disappoint the Kalabari people after the election, saying that that overwhelming support will be translated to developmental projects and human capital development.
He urged the people to disregard all the false stories being peddled by some aspirants, stressing that he is in the race and with the full backing he has received from the 23 local government areas, he would defeat the APC.
He said that the APC up till this moment has been unable to have governorship aspirants because they are more interested in sponsoring moles in PDP because of the fear that if he (Wike) emerges, he would defeat the APC in all the local government areas of the state.
Barrister Wike said that the Rivers PDP will continue to build on the successes of the ward and local government congresses, noting that false rumours of their cancellation have again shown how desperate the sponsored moles have become.
He said: “What makes a governorship aspirant is his spread across the 23 local government areas. I have the required spread in all the local government areas of the state. None of these aspirants can boast of any form of relationship with the party members or the people of Rivers State.
“This election will not be won by trucks of money that the present outgoing administration is amassing everyday through regrettable loans. This is an election where I will lead PDP to victory because the people have realised that they need liberation and development”.