I’ll rather support APC than support a Fulani to take over from Buhari – Rivers PDP chairman

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Atiku not eligible to contest for president - Malami

The  Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, has said the the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar lacks the capability to solve the insecurity problems plaguing the country.

He said the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is not the problem, but the competency of individuals being projected.

Akawor who spoke during an interview with SUN newspaper, said Nigerians ought to be worried about the issue of a “Fulani taking over from a Fulani President” and the Igbo presidency.

According to him, he would support the APC in its presidential course, rather than supporting a northern to take over from president Muhammadu Buhari.

“We need to be careful in taking decisions, we have choices in our hands. So, for me, one thing we must stop is the Fulani/Fulani movement. If at the end of the day the option/alternative becomes a Muslim/Muslim agenda, in order to stop another Fulani president from succeeding a former Fulani president, I will support the agenda as Desmond Akawor.”

Reiterating the party’s readiness to win the 2023 governorship election in the state, the party chairman said going by the foundation of the state, the PDP has been in power since 1998 till date and will not relent in its stride to win.

Akawor said that there is no crisis in the state party as reported from different quarters.

He said, “let me just mention to you, if you look at my position as the chairman of the party, I’m the best to tell you the situation of the party as at today. I can confidently tell you there is no crisis in the party that may even lead to anything called negativity in terms of election. Of course, I’m sure that you know by the DNA of Rivers State that this is entirely a PDP state, right from 1998 to date. The governor has recently scaled up whatever that would hinder our chances of winning the election in the state.”

The chairman noted that party candidates in the state, including the Nyesom Wike presidency idea was conceived by elders of the party, who deemed him fit to be president.

“On the night of the governor’s birthday, the Elders’ Forum agreed to meet the governor to wish him a happy birthday with the chairman of the forum, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, a former chairman of UBA and elder statesman over 80 years.

“Talking of about at least 30 elders; so, in the same way, we agreed that very night that there is this story going round about the presidency and that our governor has done all he needs to do in the state and we think he is a product we can sell to the nation as a president.

“So, we drafted a letter wishing him happy birthday and including two clauses there urging him to come and run for presidency. This is also to inform the world that the idea or plan of presidency was not initiated by Nyesom Wike. He was not the originator. It was the River’s elders that urged him to run for the presidency, of which I was part of the team,” he stated.

On the governorship position, he said 14 aspirants had indicated interest to run for office and the party had purchased forms for them to that effect.

According to him, the interest had resulted to a crisis, which left zoning as the only option to resolving the problem.

He noted that Wike had decided that it was the turn of the riverine to occupy  the governorship position, leading to emergence of Sim Fubara, which he said was based on “equity and fairness.”

He said, “We had a meeting with the governor on the issue and he stated that Rivers State has three senatorial districts and we have had governors from these districts in the past.

“It was in the meeting that the governor took the decision that the governorship candidate must come from the riverine area and there were only two candidates from the riverine area contesting for the governorship position out of the 14 candidates that indicated interest. And they were Sim Fubara and Tele Ikuru, the former Rivers State deputy governor.”
 
He said Tele Ikuru, the former Rivers State deputy governor, who is also from the riverine area, was not chosen because of his affiliation with Prince Uche Secondus.

“And because of the crisis between Prince Uche Secondus, who is a cousin to Tele Ikuru, and the party, the only candidate chosen became Sim Fubara,” Akawor added.

He maintained that the Rivers PDP is dependent on the decision of the state govenor for the 2023 elections.

“Wherever Nyesom Wike tells us to go in 2023, that is where we will go because we know he thinks well of us and we know he has the thought of Rivers people at heart,” Akawor added.