By Codratus Godson
Kalabari-born oil magnet and governorship hopeful, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, unveiled his blueprint to restore prosperity to Rivers State through massive job creation as well as liberate the state from oppression.
The long time financial backbone in the All Progressives Congress (APC) who migrated to pick the ticket in the Accord Party after the APC primaries few months ago said he comes with a strong agenda to correct 20 years of decline, a swipe at Dr Peter Odili, Chibuike Amaechi and now Nyesom Wike, who governed the state since 2019.
Dumo who is a top member of the famous Lulu-Briggs family in Kalabari served as General Manager, Pioneer Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Moni Pulo Limited from 1995 to 2002 as well as Managing Director of DLB Concerns Ltd., since 2002. He also serves as the chairman of the Board at Platform Petroleum Limited and also served as its vice chairman. He was in private legal practice from 1988 to 1994.
Speaking at the flag-off of his governorship campaigns in the face of doubts over an APC governorship slot due to several court orders, Lulu-Briggs lamented that a society as endowed with human and natural resources as well as with the potential for massive industrialisation as Rivers State could have its people so marginalised and pauperized.
He said: “Rivers State is today a shadow of its glorious past. From being the treasure base of the nation, it has emerged the troubled base of the nation. From being the employers’ hub, it has become the unemployment capital of the country. Rivers State that was once the most hospitable state is now the hotbed of Nigeria marred by insecurity, impunity and outright disrespect for the people by the political leadership.”
He said the state had been on the decline while others were growing. “Rivers State is marked by a decline that started about 20 years ago with return of the country to democracy, and serves as a sad testimonial to the vision and enterprise of the founding fathers. The average Rivers person has been impoverished, traumatised and has lost self-esteem. The happiness and economic wellbeing of the individual Rivers person has taken a back seat in governance. Our people are poor and homeless; the elderly are abandoned; our youths are jobless and our children are out of school.
“For 20 years, Rivers State has had governors and leaders who use our people as ladders to power and dump them afterwards as worthless observers. It is therefore undisputable that the problem of Rivers State is essentially that of political leadership.”
He said his mission is to bring a leadership that would turn the fortune of the state and its people around through the effective application of three key values: sincerity of purpose, clarity of goal, and dedication to duty.
“Our past neglected these values, our present must learn from these, because our future is dependent on them,” he said.
He also pledged to make every Rivers man, woman, and all other residents of the state the focus of all policies, strategies and action and “never forget to care for those who live in the shadows of life”. This is as he stated that his vision for the state is to actualise a people-oriented government that is anchored on the egalitarian principles of justice, equity, peace, merit and equal opportunities where no one is oppressed and to uphold the African values of being each other’s keepers.
Lulu-Briggs spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt at the flag-off of his campaigns and unveiling of the document “My Binding Engagement”. He noted that INEC has performed creditably in its last three outings and wondered why any candidate should doubt the sincerity of the commission to provide a level playing ground for all parties.
“Those who are afraid of elections are the ones calling INEC names. We believe that INEC will do well and we have confidence in the commission to provide a level playing field for all political parties,” he said.