From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The consensus arrangement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers State chapter seems to have suffered a setback as a former member of the National Assembly, Bernard Mikko, has picked the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms to contest the 2023 Rivers governorship poll.
Fielding questions from newsmen after obtaining his nomination forms for the race, Mikko, claimed that there may have been endorsement but certainly no consensus has been reached.
Responding to the consensus in Rivers State, he said: “you are asking a very hypothetical question. You know that in politics before you become an aspirant, you must obtain your nomination forms and the law of building a consensus is clear for the parties that are subject to that consensus. Up till today, you know the process, go and check at the party’s Secretariat for those who have paid and those who haven’t paid.
“I think that will give you a clear indication as to a group of friends, well-wishers that sat together and said that they have endorsed someone. No endorsement. They can endorse people but no consensus has been reached. Go and find out from the party’s headquarters.
“It is synonymous with the fact that some friends of a presidential aspirant who calls himself leader. Of course, you know that the party hierarchy has said that it is only governors that are leaders of the party in the states.
“As claimed that a particular person is the leader of the party in the country, gathers his friends and well-wishers to endorse him for president, is going to stand?” Mikko said.
On which camp he belongs to between Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Magnus Abe, he responded: “party means a group of people with different interests and ideologies. It is only small parties that don’t have divisions. In the major opposition party in the country, you can see the divisions. My own as a unifier is to bring all the parties together so that we can win this election.
“APC in Rivers state has been in the limbo for almost eight years now. No House of Representatives, no Senate, nothing not even a local councillor. And you can see is the problem between some of these parties that have led to this. Why I am coming into the race is to unify all the factions in the state and make things work for our APC to win the election,” he said.
He equally explained how his area can dislodge Ikwerre, noting: “you know that the old Rivers state had five divisions. Out of these five divisions, one was presumably riverine which is Bayelsa which has been taken away. Before that time you had Ijaws who were the major ethnic group, then you have the Ikwerre, which was the second, then you have the Ogoni people.
“I am from Ogoni and you know that after Peter Odilli in 1999-2007; you have Celestine Omeiya who was Ikwerreman who govern the state for six months, you have another Ikwerreman Rotimi Amaechi, then after him, you have Nyesom Wike who is also from Ikwerre. All these people are from the East senatorial district, Odilli was from the West senatorial district. So, this time it is ideally for somebody from the south-east senatorial district which I come from which is the Ogoni axis. No zone can win an election alone even in Nigeria.
“So we are looking for the best. I have been local government chairman before, and I have been in the House of Representatives. So my track record is there and I will unify various factions in the state and bring our party to victory because that is the purpose of a political party, we are not a charity organisation. We are not a trade union, our purpose is to win election, form government and serve our people,” he said.
Mikko also reacted to the possibility of APC winning the Rivers governorship election, emphasising that: “I am a core politician from Rivers state. I am from Ogoni and if you follow the politics of Rivers State you will know what I am talking about. The people will decide who is going to govern them. We all have a track record. So, many things led to where things are today and are not going to remain the same,” he assured.
The post Rivers 2023: Mikko rejects consensus option, picks nomination forms appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.