Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
An ethnic political pressure group, Ogoni Sim Vanguard, has declared their support for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Mr. Sim Fubara.
The group made its position known yesterday after critically analysing the capacity of all the gubernatorial candidates from the different political parties in the state.
Speaking with journalists immediately after their meeting in Port Harcourt, Mr. Marvin Yobana said Fubara has shown capacity and proven quality to govern the state for the next four years.
The PDP chieftain and former Vice President, National Youths Council, Nigeria, dismissed the assertion that an Ogoni man is more eligible for the position of governorship than any other ethnic group in the state
He insisted that Fubara, a young and energetic Opobo man has served the state diligently in his capacity, expressing confidence that as an indigene from the Rivers South-east Senatorial District, would attract more development to the area.
Yobana explained that their support “Is in continuation for the struggle to ensure youths participation in governance and at the political level, for younger person to involve in government, to be given elective position so that they could bring in their strength to bear in terms of governance.
“So, we look at this government critically, out of all political parties, which of them has seen the development needs of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, but the PDP has chosen someone who is a son of Ogoniland by extension from Opobo. This is a man who has shown diligence in his work, who have been loyal and who has been consistent in his service to the state that has so been chosen by this government.
“So we say, if the governor in his wisdom has chosen him, why don’t we the youths from this senatorial district come together to support him and to sell the idea and visions of this governor down to the grassroot so that we can be able to sensitise our people to ensure that there is nothing like vote buying, and so they can go and collect their PVCs, that they should be ready to come out enmass to support this young man Siminilaye Fubara”.
Speaking on the choice of the PDP governorship candidate instead of Ogoni son, Yobana, who is also a former President of Ogoni Youth Council, said they are supporting a Rivers Governor not an Ogoni governor, adding that Fubara from Opobo is an Ogoni indigene by extension.
“We are here to dispel those rumours, some persons say why are we supporting Sim Fubara an Opobo man why we have Ogoni sons running for same political position. Rivers state has 23 local government areas. Out of the LGAs Ogoni extraction has four local government and we know the four LGA cannot win the remaining 19LGAs. This is why we are not bringing an Ogoni governor, we are bringing a Rivers Governor.
“We are not saying that we are bringing an Ogoni governor, that is not the agenda, we are bringing a Rivers Governor. Anybody who is from Ogoni and want to become the Rivers Governor should also sell his idea to the rest of the 19 LGAs. As a group, we are focus and determined to moblise our people to support this vision.
“What we play in Nigeria is partisan politics and we don’t have independent candidate yet in the Electoral Act. So if you want to contest for any position you must belong to a political party, you must go the congresses, you must seek elective position there to become a candidate of that party for the office you want to contest.
Like me I want to be governor, I am an Ogoni. Every election year there has always been an Ogoni man running for the office of the Governor and that does not exclude any other ethnic groups from running. The issue is, what are chances of winning, what platform are running on, do you want to also tie the Ogoni people on your failure and waste their votes”.
Yobana , who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) added “Even when we did not support Wike in the past election but it didn’t stop the government from brining development to the state. We are talking of the person that will come and build on the existing developmental strides of the present administration.”
Some Ogoni indigenes are also contesting for governorship position, including Senator Magnus Abe (Social Democratic Party), Dr Leesi Gborogbosi (Action Peoples Party) and others.
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