Ogoni people are sharply divided over the adoption of Chief Victor Giadom as the deputy gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
An Ogoni youth leader, Imeabe Saviour Oscar told TNN in an interview that the position of a deputy gubernatorial candidate for Ogoni was a welcome development, at least coming for the first time since the creation of Rivers State.
“The people of Ogoni have been demanding for governor and at the same time marginalized politically by all political parties. But if at this point in time, a particular political party decides to adopt an Ogoni man as a deputy gubernatorial candidate is a welcome development.
“Reason being that an Ogoni man has not been a deputy governor before. For me, it is a starting point. At this point, Ogoni people should rally round the adopted deputy governorship candidate and use that to achieve other agitations”.
Oscar who is the president of Ogoni Youths Development Initiative, advised Ogoni people to reduce their bitterness about the position of governorship, pointing out that in the future, an Ogoni person would emerge governor.
He said that the position of deputy governorship candidate would lead to other political positions, including governorship in future.
“The people of Ogoni should at this point in time reduce their bitterness and anger for not achieving the governorship position because every political scenario has a channel. So, if that channel is created or built, we can achieve our desire political positions, he stated.
But an opinion leader in Ogoni, John Piagbo differed with Oscar. According to him, the choice of Giadom even among his faction of APC was not appropriate.
He said there were better candidates such as George Feyii, Celestine Akpobari, Leyii Kwanee, Befil Nwile and that the choice of Giadom was to spite Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, who hails from the same community with Giadom.
“It is not a welcome development. Victor Giadom is not one of our best. We have the likes of George Feyii, Celestine Akpobari, Leyii Kwanee, Befil Nwile and so many others.
“We cannot remember what Giadom brought to Ogoni during his four years tenure as commissioner for works. He is no match to these other people mentioned, academically.
“And at a time, Ogoni people are demanding for political justice, playing a second fiddle is not our best option. The Amaechi led APC is only using him to play the spoiler game because he is from the same village with Magnus Abe”.
He also said that the Ogoni people were still to decide on the support for President Muhammadu Buhari because of the handling of the Ogoni clean-up project.
“The clean-up of Ogoni environment as promised by this present administration has been shrouded in a lot of secrecy and lack of transparency and the people are prepared to work out their survival with the help of competent partners”.
He further stated that the Ogoni people were thinking towards supporting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, whom they see as a better and sincere lover of Niger Delta, who has invested in Ogoniland.
“The Ogoni people are beginning to see most of the promises of the APC led federal government as scam and are prepared to work for the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was the greatest investor in labour in Ogoni land.
“INTELS is in Onne(Ogoniland). Thousands of Ogoni persons have lost their jobs as a result of bad economic policies of the present administration and the Ogoni people are prepared to see prosperity return back to their land.
“For example, Onne to Eleme junction axis of the East-West road, which is the most important artery to the survival of the oil and gas industry; which is the mainstay of Nigeria's economy remains in a deplorable state till today”, he stated.
The Rivers State chapter of the APC had announced that the governorship candidate of the party in Rivers State, Tonye Dele Cole had chosen Chief Victor Tombari Giadom as his running mate for the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State.
According to the party in a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by Chris Finebone, State Publicity Secretary, Cole announced the choice of Giadom while briefing the top hierarchy of the APC in a meeting in Port Harcourt.
It stated that “the choice of Chief Victor Giadom as Running Mate was arrived at after a careful and exhaustive consideration of an array of equally notable personalities in the party. He came out tops on all considerations especially his unalloyed and untainted loyalty, unrelenting hard work and invaluable experience as a former outstanding local government chairman, former commissioner for works, former governorship campaign DG and currently, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party, APC.”
“With the choice of Giadom, the APC Governorship candidate, has commenced to assemble a crack dream team for the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State”.