September 02, (THEWILL) – A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dakuku Peterside, has said that Rivers people are politically-sophisticated and as such, no one could influence how they would vote during elections.
Peterside is a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). He spoke at a rally in Opobo, headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro LGA, organised by Reevas Progressive Front (RPF), a non-governmental organisation, where over 500 PDP members defected to APC in the LGA.
Responding to an alleged recent claim by Governor Nyesom Wike, Peterside said Rivers people know their real leaders who have their interest at heart, and not opportunists taking advantage of the economic situation to embarrass them.
“Rivers people know who their true leaders are; not those who presently take advantage of the harsh economic situation to hoodwink and turn them into articles of political and financial merchandise.”
He described the past seven years as one of the worst eras in Rivers State because of leadership driven by selfish interest and unbridled ego.
“There is no doubt that the last seven years remain the worst in Rivers’ history. The ordinary Rivers man and woman were left out of governance, while those in authority enriched themselves, appropriated the people’s commonwealth, and shamelessly brandished even that which they stole, before the people. Rivers people never had it this bad”, he stressed.
Peterside, a former Member of the Federal House of Representatives, noted that the Opobo and Nkoro ethnic groups were among the most politically-enlightened stocks in Rivers State even as he averred that they could not be deceived or blackmailed with any Greek gift as Gov. Wike is doing at theory.
“Opobo/Nkoro people are one of the most politically-enlightened stocks in Rivers State and no one can deceive us with a Greek gift. Gov. Wike had the opportunity of developing Opobo-Nkoro in the past seven years but did not do it. He preferred to fret away our resources junketing abroad searching for personal relevance that will not add value to Rivers state and her people”, he said.
He stated that at the appropriate time Opobo and Nkoro people would openly prove to Wike that they well took note of his neglect of the area.
“We will remind our people how much Wike and his cohorts failed them and why we cannot continue in that trajectory”, he stressed.
The former Federal lawmaker said Nigerians had been unanimous in the type of leaders they would elect in 2023.
“Nigerians are unanimous that the next election will be about character, competence and service delivery. It will not be about ethnicity. Opobo-Nkoro people know that a competent Governor with character they would be proud of would be superior to brandishing ethnic sentiment”, he said.
While urging Rivers people to “keep hope alive”, Peterside commended the NGO and others who took part in the rally.