By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT— AGAINST prevailing atmosphere of an automatic party ticket for Governor Nyesom Wike in the coming 2019 governorship election in Rivers State, another aspirant, Soalabo West, has come out to challenge the governor for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ticket in the state.
West, a lawyer from Kalabari ethnic nationality, yesterday, announced his intention to challenge Wike for the PDP 2019 governorship ticket, saying that he was convinced that the Rivers Government House was now set for a riverine occupant and the push for a “new paradigm to make Rivers great again.”
He said: “The circumstances that threw up Wike in 2015 had been actualised with his emergence as governor in 2015 under PDP, and it is now the turn of riverine communities to produce the governor of Rivers State in 2019.
“The argument then was that Rivers was a PDP state and we needed to wrest the leadership of the state from the All Progressives Congress, APC, the party which the then incumbent governor Chibuike Amaechi, defected to in 2013.
“Governorship aspirants from riverine ethic nationalities were asked to work with Wike, not because the Upland/Riverine dichotomy was not there, but essentially because of imperatives of the time.
“One, that Rivers State should go to the PDP, and second, that the state should be properly mobilised to deliver majority votes to former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2019 presidential election.
“My appeal to our youths and all stakeholders now is to eschew violence and thuggery because, according to former President Goodluck Jonathan, nobody’s blood should be shed for anybody’s political ambition.”
West’s announcement came barely 24 hours after Wike formally declared to run for a second term at the unveiling of the office in Port Harcourt, for One Million Rivers Youths for Wike.