A pan-Ijaw group, Ijaw Progressive Agenda, on Sunday rose from an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with a resolve to support the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, National President of the body, Mr. Richard Akinakah, said they resolved to look beyond ethnic considerations in the interest of good governance and development so that the best would emerge to the benefit of the greater number of people.
According to him, the primary concern should not be political expediency, though to massage the sensibilities and belongingness of sections of the state, the need to carry everybody along would arise.
Akinakah submitted that after the proper captain of a ship was in place to steer it to safety, representative considerations could safely be applied as danger to the vessel would have been averted by entrusting the fate of the ship to capable hands.
“Apart from political expediency in terms of carrying all ethnic groups in Rivers State along, there is a greater need of ensuring that a capable hand that is electable is given the mandate to wrestle power from the opposition party in the state and no other person is well positioned to do it than Nyesom Wike.
“Again, when the fight to save the party from being erased from the state, following the jumping of ship by Governor Chibuike Amaechi who abandoned the party under whose platform he ascended to power, it was only the bold and hard fighting Wike that was left standing and salvaged the party; a reason some of those contending with him have a platform to stand on to agitate.
“While other candidates, some of who do not even know the name of their ward chairmen in the party were busy fighting shy, Wike played his politics and transversed all the nooks and crannies of the state, putting up structures that today fly the flag of PDP, so he has demonstrated the will to fight and win election for the party.
“Where a candidate comes from does not really matter, but the ability of the person to touch the lives of Rivers people, use their vast resources and apply it prudently so that it would yield the best results for the people to enjoy. Our primary concern should be if the candidate is good and has a developmental agenda for the state. There are other ways of carrying every tribe along, not necessarily by handing power to people who are not ready for it,” he insisted.
On the effect of the threat by Ijaw Elders to dump PDP if the party refuse to change Wike with a riverine candidate, he carped the elders who he said had shown that they were not politicians, pointing out that there was no place power was given to people who did not fight for it.
He said if they were good party men, they would subsume whatever interest they had in that of the party which had presented a candidate they must support; adding that to do otherwise was to railroad the party against the decision of the people whose delegates nominated him.
He assured that the chances of Wike to win the governorship election was very high which people should not under any guise, jeopardise with threats.
He further charged Wike to go on in his stride as most of the elders handing down the threat may not have even registered to vote and therefore, not have any electoral value that would affect his fortune in the elections.
He charged the elders to show good examples for the younger generation to follow instead of enthroning threats of brigandage over dialogue which resolved all problems.