4th December, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Dakuku Peterside, was today formally adopted as the governorship torch bearer for the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the primaries in Port Harcourt as he bids to replace Governor Rotimi Amaechi as governor of the state.
He was the sole candidate of the party. Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South East who also was an aspirant until stakeholders of the party settled for Dakuku stayed away from the primaries.
Asita O Asita Honourable, Chairman of Rivers State caucus at the National Assembly and a member representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and Ahoada West federal constituency moved the motion that Dakuku Peterside be adopted as APC governorship candidate since there was no other aspirant for the position.
His motion was supported by Dere Samuel Horsfall, APC Chairman Asari Toru and Chairman of APC local Government Chairmen forum in Rivers state.
Despite the adoption of Dakuku, Prince Austin Eweka, Chairman APC Governorship Primary Election for Rivers still conducted election among the 4,574 delegates.
At the end of the voting that took place at the Alfred Diette Spiff Civic Centre Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, out of 4,574 delegates, 4,321 were present.
Vote cast was 3,914 and of the votes, 3,773 were valid, while 140 votes were invalid.
Meanwhile, Rivers governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has stated in clear terms that, equity, natural justice and fair judgement were the salient criteria used in selecting Dakuku Adolphus-Peterside, from the Rivers South-East Senatorial District as gubernatorial torch bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2015 general elections.
Amaechi stated this during the APC Gubernatorial Primary election held at the Main Bowl of the Alfred Diette-Spiff Complex in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
He maintained that the Rivers West Senatorial district and the Rivers East Senatorial district have taken their gubernatorial zoning slots in the past years, adding that, equity must reign supreme in ensuring that the governor after him comes from the Rivers South-East Senatorial zone in 2015.
According to him, “Rivers West Senatorial district and Rivers East Senatorial district have taken their slots, and now, equity demands that it should go to Rivers South-East Senatorial district. The All progressives congress, APC in Rivers State had earlier agreed that the governorship slot should go to Hon, (Dr) Dakuku Adol-Peterside…From today, I will continue to be in the front of Hon (Dr.) Dakuku Adol-Peterside until all elections are concluded.
“My joy is that, today, we have shown the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP that, there can be another popular party in Rivers State. In the last elections in 2011, we gave the PDP over 1.8million votes. This time, we challenge them to come and get such votes again let us see. This is the time to prove our point. Our delegates for this gubernatorial primary election is 4,574. This is an opportunity to ensure that, we do not suffer any longer”. Amaechi said.
The APC leader in the state also commended Senator Magnus Abe and his Deputy Engr. Tele Ikuru for their sterling qualities and useful contributions to his administration, urging them to remain steadfast and committed to the party.
“That does not mean that, one of my bosom friends, Senator Magnus Abe is not qualified. There are two distinct Rivers people I respect so much because of their intellect. They are Senator Magnus Abe and Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, but, it is unfortunate, Ajumogobia will not be allowed to win the PDP guber primaries. In the same way, I have mentioned that the Deputy Governor , Engineer Tele is also qualified. With my Deputy, I have never watched my back. If I am overseas or in London, and I call him to handle some assignments, he has been doing well beyond my expectations. He is a man of due process”. Amaechi noted.
Governor Amaechi equally explained that, the choice of Hon. (Dr) Dakuku Adolphus-Peterside is hinged on the struggle for the return of the Soku oil wells bequeathed to Bayelsa State and the Etche oil well to Abia State being masterminded by the federal government.
“We have suffered long in the hands of the Federal government. All the oil wells in Soku, owned by the Kalabari people have been taken away to Bayelsa State and that of Etche to Abia state. We will fight with everything to deliver APC in the 2015 general elections. As APC faithfuls, I expect all of us, to have Soku and Etche oil wells at the back of our minds. The oil wells belong to our people. When I leave office, I expect the next Governor to continue the struggle for the return of the oil wells to our people, the Rivers people”, Amaechi explained.
The State chief Executive tasked the Military and the Police that will be deployed to monitor the 2015 general elections in the state to be neutral and ensure the protection of lives and property.
Amaechi advised the Military and the Police not to be partisan in politics as such attempt could be regarded as an act of impunity against civilians.
“I hear the PDP and the Federal government are planning to use the military and the Police to stop me from moving around during the 2015 general elections. I am the chief security officer of the state and if they stop me, you will see what will happen. The duty of the Military and the Police during the elections is to ensure protection of lives and property”, Amaechi said.
He further commended stakeholders and party faithfuls for choosing and giving automatic tickets to Assembly members in the All Progressives Congress, APC and advised those who lost out to remain steadfast in moving the party forward.
Governor Amaechi used the opportunity to urge Rivers people to foster a free, fair and credible election in the 2015 general elections, adding that their Permanent Voters Card is key in choosing credible candidates.
Earlier, the Chairman of the APC Guber Primary election, Prince Austin Nweke thanked Governor Amaechi and party faithful for making it easy for the panel to conduct the party primaries in an atmosphere devoid of rancour and acrimony.