By Folu Adegoke
IT is understandable that Emmanuel Tubotamuno Georgewill is seeking the governorship of Rivers State for after all, he was part of the initial team put together by Governor Rotimi Amaechi to draw a blueprint for the development of the state long before Amaechi’s eventual ascension to power.
With Amaechi on his way out now, it would in the opinion of some almost look natural for Georgewill to take over considering his knowledge of the successful blueprint drawn up for Amaechi.
Since the race has so far been influenced by debates on zoning, Georgewill comes as a likely game changer to pundits.
But with other formidable names on the list of aspirants eyeing the top position on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, the race may not be as unchallenging as some of his supporters think.
One aspirant, whose ambition looms larger than others, is the former Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Nwike.
For the right and wrong reasons, Nwike’s name had dominated most discourse patterning the primaries, putting most analysts at the risk of concluding that he was a preferred aspirant.
However, that perception does not seem to hold much promise anymore, following the outcome of the recent ward congress in the state.
Surprisingly, it turned out to be an exercise that altered the direction of public opinion as to who emerges the party’s candidate.
With most aspirants commencing the exercise in an upbeat mood, the outcome was such that positioned Georgewill as a leading aspirant in the race.
Emerging more hopeful in an exercises that was nearly boycotted by sixteen aspirants, has not ceased from exciting some party faithful, especially those, who had kicked against the party’s likely candidate coming from Ikwere extraction.
On the strength of his The New Dawn Group, the governorship hopeful and his supporters, made a loud statement with their outing at the exercise, resulting to the victory of some of his supporters.
Accordingly, with the surprising triumph of his group over, those touted as favourites, it was easy for observers to reckon with him in the intriguing contest for the PDP ticket.
But that did not come without opposition, as the camp of one of the hitherto conspicuous aspirant, were reportedly uncomfortable with the development.
Following the need to ensure that the PDP goes into the governorship election as one, notable party elders, reportedly convened a meeting, where the need for power shift was emphasised.
Allegedly, held at the Abuja residence of a top party elder, the leaders were said to have agreed to urge President Goodluck Jonathan and the party leadership to make zoning a key determinant of who becomes the next governor of the state. It was gathered that the elders were worried that handing over the ticket to an Ikwere person, would amount to the Ikwerre governing the state for 16 years-a situation that negates the spirit of equity among ethnic groups.
Accordingly, they reportedly recommended that the riverine/upland section of the state be key considered in the arrangement.
Sequel to that unanimous agreement, Georgewill is believed to have been more favoured to emerge as the PDP standard bearer.
Notwithstanding, opinion abounds that Georgewill comes to the race with requisite experience and skills needed to take the state to the next level. His supporters are united in their belief that he is the only candidate that can pull the kind of crowd needed against the APC.
Buttressing that in his vision for the state, George disclosed plans to administer Rivers like a limited public liability company. He also hopes to bring his private sector experience and entrepreneurial skills to bear in public service.
Georgewill, also wants to develop the economy of the state as an agro-energy state , in addition to making Port Harcourt City the oil capital of the Gulf of Guinea.
These, he hopes to achieve through an open system of government where every citizen of the state has a stake.