The gubernatorial candidate of Social Democratic party (SDP), Chief Precious Elekima has advocated for community governance where resources of the state would be shared among communities to embark on projects of priority to them.
Speaking in an interview with TNN in Port Harcourt, the governorship candidate said the system was a complete deviation where development was initiated from top to down rather than from down to top.
The candidate enumerated the benefits of the system, which includes empowering the local people, initiating development that is dear to them and reducing corruption to the barest minimum in that the people would inspect their projects and report any abnormality to the top to redress.
“My vision is to create a society where there is prosperity for everybody. A society where no one section lives in angry isolation; no one community feels neglected.
“So, that is why I have said I am going to run a decentralized government where I am going to allow community government to have their resources to develop themselves by themselves.
“I don't want to award contracts. Let them solve their problems by themselves. If we've done one thing in 50 years over and we have gotten the answers wrong, let us change and do it in a different way so that we can have a different result”.
On the possibility of defeating the incumbent and their arch rival APC, Elekima said that PDP and APC were the same.
He said they were not ideological based and were responsible for impoverishing Nigerians, pointing out that they had turned a lot of people to beggars.
He stated that SDP was offering an alternative, different from APC and PDP and that the party was making in-road in Rivers state, adding that the defeat of APC and PDP was imminent.
“Everything is not done well. Everybody is begging money. Nothing is working. I won't be like them. My chances are very bright. You know when APC was beginning; when Jonathan was there; whoever believed that APC will beat them?
“APC didn't have anything. But Jonathan had the whole power-the army, police, INEC and everything, yet APC won. It is the people's will. APC and PDP are not popular. They may not even win one assembly seat. Forget about all the names they are shouting. We are not losing sleep over them”.
On the allegation that he was working for the state governor, Nyesom Wike, the SDP candidate said it was not true but the propaganda of APC and PDP for the people to ignore SDP.
“Between myself and Wike, so I should be front to Wike because I supported him to be governor? It was because of Peter Odili that I supported him. I didn't support Wike to be governor. I worked for Peter. I felt things were going wrong and he needed to have his signature back. I am not a friend to Wike. Wike knows I worked for Peter”.
When further pressed on the magic he would implore to beat the incumbent, he said “I don't think Wike or Rotimi Amaechi is in doubt of me. We know ourselves. We know what everyone can do. We are not strangers”.
On the much touted APC's effort to clinch the Brick House, Elekima said that APC would go nowhere.
“APC can't win the election. They have no chances to win the election. They don't have the programmes. They are still recycling the same stories that everybody has heard. That is not what is obtainable at this time”.
On what would be his priority in government, he said that education would be the cradle of his government.
“There are no much schools. Everybody is attending private school; very soon there will be more illiteracy because there are more poor people who cannot afford to pay for private school. So, I need to put back schools; appoint governing boards.
“I want to take back the salaries of the schools taken over by missionaries. The schools are not functioning well because people feel that they cannot pay them pensions and gratuities.
“So, I am going to set up a tripartite arrangement among the missions, government and communities. We will put together board to make sure all schools are functioning”.