Sixteen governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State are saying that they were unjustly disqualified by the appeal panel to pave the way for you to emerge as the party’s candidate.
Politics is not a do-or-die affair. It is about internal democracy. Now, they say the panel disqualified them to pave the way for me to emerge. You will recall that they (governorship aspirants) called for the cancellation of the congresses.
What that means is that they don’t have delegates. If they don’t have delegates, why would anybody disqualify them to pave the way for me? That also means that I have an upper hand in the delegate congress that was held.
Since I have an upper hand, I also have the advantage of winning the election. So, why would anybody disqualify them in other to pave the way for me?
As far as I am concerned, what determines who will win election will come from delegates’ election. They have also said I should be disqualified; why should they say so?
Under what law would they disqualify me? Under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can anybody stop me from running an election? So, I am exercising my constitutional right of running an election.
We have toured 16 local government areas out of 23. By December 5, we would have toured the 23 local government areas of the state by the grace of God. We have made efforts to tour all the nooks and crannies of the state and you are telling me that they should not allow me to run. That is not fair.
For me, I don’t think it is proper. We are getting the support and the endorsement of our people. Look at the whole riverine area of the state, we are getting overwhelming support.
Are you not worried about the mounting opposition against you from both the PDP and APC?
The Ogoni people have four local government areas; Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme. I am an Ikwerre man and we have four local government areas. When you say the Ijaw have overwhelming majority, it is not correct. The Kalabaris have three local government areas, Opobo is one local government, if you want to play ethnic sentiment, all the riverine local government areas of the state, the total number of their voting strength, put them together, calculate all their votes and see whether they are bigger than Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. Obio/Akpor where I come from has about 400,000 votes. I am happy that it is my friend Dakuku Peterside that the APC gave its ticket. So, I am not threatened by the choice of the APC governorship aspirant.
The governor has consistently accused you of diverting N3bn meant for the construction of the Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium Road?
That is how you should know a student who did not do well in school. No student who did well in school will talk the way (Governor Rotimi) Amaechi is talking. You gave money to somebody to go and do a road and the person pocketed the money and you did not arrest the person for prosecution. And he has consistently been saying that; does that show good governance? The road he said he awarded to me, the Commissioner for Works then is the same man he is presenting now as the APC governorship candidate in the state. Let’s wait and see. I challenge Amaechi to come forward with the documents that prove that he gave a contract to me.
Are you saying the governor never gave you any job?
He did not give any job to me. That is the reason I said the governor did not have good grades in the university.
Some are saying you decided to run for the position of the governor solely as a result of the disagreement between you and the governor – that in the real sense of it – you do not have a blueprint on how to develop the state.
What was Amaechi’s plan before he became governor and what has he accomplished based on his plans? Does blueprint mean bamboozling the people? Is that what you call a blueprint? I will run a transparent and open government with independence of the judiciary unlike what is happening to the judiciary now.