Barely 24 hours after Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, declared that he will be running for a second term in office, in 2019, Soalabo West, another aspirant, has also announced his willingness to contest for governorship on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP.
West, an energy and maritime lawyer of the Kalabari ethnic extraction, says his willingness to vie for the 2019 governorship election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, “is anchored on a new paradigm to make Rivers State great again.”
He stated that the circumstances that threw up Wike in 2015 have been actualised with his emergence as governor in 2015 under the aegis of the PDP 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 Rotimi Amaechi defected to in 2013.”
West recalled: “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.”
West emphasised 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 institutionalised.”
He added: “My appeal to our youths and all stakeholders is to eschew violence and thuggery because according to former President Jonathan, nobody’s blood should be shed for anybody’s political ambition.”