Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani, has declared that the Ogoni people in four local council areas of Rivers State have resolved to vote massively for Governor Nyesom Wike because of his outstanding projects delivery in the area.
The Ogoni have insisted on a governor from their place and have resolved to use their votes to express this determination. This has caused rancour between them and the Minsiter of Transportation who was seen to bend away from an Ogoni candidature in the coming elections.
Wike is said to be cashing in on this feeling to offer a succession slot to an Ogoni senator for support in 2019 to be repaid in 2023. The APC is seen to tilt toward a Kalabari or Opobo or Bonny (known as riverine) candidature. This is said to be tearing the solid support base the APC had in Ogoni into two.
Now, speaking during the defection of hundreds of APC members to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Gokana Local Government Area on Sunday, Kobani said that Ogoni people were committed to the victory of Governor Wike in 2019.
He said since the creation of Rivers State, no other governor has invested in the development of Ogoniland the way Governor Wike has done.
The Former Minister of State for Trade said all the Local Government Areas that make up Ogoniland have benefited from strategic projects that have improved the living condition of the people.
According to Kobani, the Dualization of the Sakpenwa-Bori Road, the completion of Kpopie-Bodo road, the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road, the General Hospital Bodo City, the Bori Zonal Hospital; General Hospital, Nchia and the Birabi Memorial Grammar School were some of the projects that have transformed the landscape of Ogoniland.
He said: “Governor Wike has transformed Ogoni land and we are committed to his re-election. If the governor has done this in three years, by the time he completes his second term, Ogoni people will benefit more.
“All Ogoni people, including those who left APC to join us, must remain committed to delivering Governor Wike in 2019. That is our principal goal. Governor Wike has done so much for the Ogonis. No other former governor can equal his record”.
He charged all organisations to work in unity to return Governor Wike in 2019. He warned against divisive tendencies ahead of the campaigns.
Rivers State Finance Commissioner, Dr Fred Kpakol said Governor Wike has placed Ogoni on his priority list in appointments and projects.
He said Gokana Local Government Area alone has the Secretary to the Rivers State Government and the Commissioner of Finance, an indication that Governor Wike loves the people.
In his remarks, Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Politics and Strategy, Chief Glory Emeh, advised the APC to remain steadfast as they would benefit from their association with the PDP.
He said that APC had nothing to offer the people of Ogoniland. He said more APC leaders of the area would defect to the PDP.
President-General of Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), Chief Bright Amaewhule, commended the APC members for defecting to the APC. He said their defection would help in ensuring the re-election of Governor Wike.