The clamour among Rivers political stakeholders for Governor Ezenwo Wike to contest for the 2019 governorship election come 2019 has continued to dominate the political centre stage in the state, with various groups endorsing the Governor for a second term in office.
A stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon. Dinebari Loolo recently lent his voice to push frantically for Governor Wike to heed to what he described as the ‘clarion call’ of Rivers people to contest for the 2019 Governorship poll in the state.
Hon. Loolo, a former State lawmaker and grassroots politician, who spoke with The Tide Political Desk in an exclusive interview, recently said Governor Wike has placed Rivers State on a very solid developmental foundation within a short period in office.
Describing Governor Wike as a “charismatic and visionary leader” the immediate past Deputy Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, declared that “there is no substitute for Governor Wike in 2019, as he has performed exceedingly well, especially in the execution of “quality and people-oriented projects in the state.”
Apart from his track record in project execution in the state, Loolo said he has projected Rivers State on a high pedestal to take its pride of place among the comity of Nigerian States.
Insisting that Rivers people must take advantage of Wike’s landmark achievements and avail him a second term in office to consolidate on the gains of economic development in the state, he warned that the state cannot afford to experiment with “political greenhorns or hard sells” at this critical period of our political development.
He noted that any other candidate jostling for the position of Governor in Rivers State at the moment “would be struggling to grapple with Wike’s overwhelming popularity and development strides as better days awaited the people of the state in 2019 and beyond under his leadership.
Loolo was particularly impressed with Wike’s rural development agenda, especially in the construction of roads in the rural areas. “Wike has done so well in the development of Rivers State, there is no Local Government Area in the state that the Governor had not impacted in terms of development. We in Khana are very happy with the Governor over the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono road project which the past administration politicised.”
Continuing, he said: “similar projects are being carried out in other parts of the state with a view to according the people of the state a deep sense of belonging. Wike truly earn the sobriquet “Mr. Projects” and this is justified by the various prestigious laurels he had won, locally and internationally.”
Loolo, a prominent attorney and grassroots mobilizer, vowed to mobilize the people of Khana to support governor Wike in 2019.
He said a socio-political platform known as “Akeere Khana” has been formed in the area to mobilize the people to know their political rights and participate actively in the polity.
The former lawmaker who represented Khana Constituency II in the Rivers State House of Assembly, disclosed that as the chairman, steering committee of the grassroots political platform, he has galvanized the body to embark on mass sensitisation of the people of Khana to participate in the ongoing voters registration to exercise their full political franchise.
Commenting on the Rivers re-run poll of December 10, 2016, Loolo described the exercise as a “rape of democracy.”
He said the All Progressives congress (APC) decided to use the military to rig the election against the wish of the people. “That re-run poll remains one of the greatest threat to our democracy. It was a case of military invasion and political arm-twisting. Even at the tribunal, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) testified that there was no election in Ogoni. Of the eight wards in Khana Constituency II, only ward 8 and 9 partially held election and I won?
Assuring that the ugly scenario will not repeat itself in Ogoni or any other part of the state again, Loolo urged the people of Rivers State to defend their votes in 2019.
On the chances of the People Democratic Party (PDP) to retain power in the state in 2019, he said the entire Rivers State was a PDP State, noting that the opposition APC was “shadowy and lacking in ideological substance:” and as such has nothing to offer to the development of the state.
He described the APC as a marriage of strange bed fellows that is heading towards disbandment, and called on Rivers people to be vigilant against their “deceptive antics and anchorage on social media politics.”
He pointed out that the change mantra which was used by the APC as a campaign policy has failed, adding that “Nigerians had been yoked under the reign of terror and general impoverishment unleashed on them by the APC.”
The ex-lawmaker said the judiciary should rise up to their fundamental objectives and constitutional role as defenders of democratic institutions by resisting the penchants of politicians bent on infiltrating the judicial system.
In his candid views, part of measures of strengthening our democracy is to carry out radical judicial reforms in the country and practice the tenets of true federalism, rather than the centralized command system that has become a disincentive to true democratic practice in Nigeria. “Nigeria is a country of diverse ethno-religious background and interest. The views and interest of these various component groups must be respected, no group is expected to super impose its idiosyncrasies over the other. The beauty of democracy can only be felt in the country when justice and equity becomes the yardstick of our national life.”
Loolo who also vehemently criticised the proposed cattle colony, said such policy was an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians insisting that it would be stoutly resisted.
Faulting the land use act which is used by some northern oligarchies to justify their claims on the grazing controversy, Loolo said: “Governors of the states are custodians of the land as trustees of the people and not of federal government.”
He called for the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report by the federal Government.