Barely 24 hours after Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State made his re-election bid public, another aspirant, Soalabo West, has also declared his intention to contest for governorship under same Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
West, who is of the Kalabari ethnic extraction, says his willingness to vie for the 2019 governorship election on the platform of the PDP, “is anchored on a new paradigm to make Rivers State great again.”
The energy and maritime lawyer said that the circumstances that threw up Wike in 2015 have been actualised, with his emergence as governor and it is now the turn of the riverine communities to produce the Governor in 2019.
“The prevailing argument then, was that Rivers was a PDP state and the people of the state needed to wrest the leadership of the state from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party which the then incumbent governor Chibuike Amaechi defected to in 2013.
“Governorship aspirants from the riverine ethic nationalities were asked to work with Wike, not because the Upland/Riverine dichotomy was not there, but essentially because of imperatives of the time.
“One, that Rivers State should go to the PDP, and second, that the state should be properly mobilised to deliver majority votes to former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2019 presidential election.”
He emphasized that his governorship ambition is propelled by his desire to bring to the fore: vision; youthful vigour; and a pragmatic and dynamic approach to the development of the state devoid of political bickering and sectarian exclusiveness that is currently being institutionalized.
He appealed to youths and all stakeholders to eschew violence and thuggery because, nobody’s blood should be shed for anybody’s political ambition.