Prominent Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State, including the renowned business mogul, Chief (Barr.) Dumo Lulu-Briggs, joined party chairman, Chief. Davies Ikanya as he led other distinguisged political figures and elders of the party in state and thousands of joyous APC party faithful, in a massive solidarity rally, in Port Harcourt, to welcome President Mohammadu Buhari back home from his medical vacation, on Wednessday August 30, 2017.
Defying the early morning downpour and walking in time to the singing of solidarity songs in honour of President Buhari by ecstatic youths, Chief Lulu-Briggs and other APC leaders like Board of Trustees member Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, supported by a Coalition of Civil Society groups and Community Based Organisations, marched along the ever busy Aba road in a peaceful and orderly procession, all the way to the party secretariat, in celebration of President Buhari’s safe return and to underline the growing political might and strength of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at the party Headquarters, Chief Davies Ikanya, Chairman of APC, Rivers State expressed his joy and affirmed that the party was happy with President Buhari’s safe return, adding that the APC was thankful to God for bringing the President back and healthy for Nigerians.
According to the chairman, God had disappointed and shamed the people who did not wish the President well, stressing that Nigerians were right when they voted massuvely for President Buhari to recover the nation’s economy, fight corruption to a standstill and fix insecurity, but few individuals who want to pocket Nigeria are not happy.
“When the corrupt Nigerians saw that Buhari is serious with the fight against corruption and that their loot was being exposed, they started praying for him to fall sick. When he took ill and travelled for medical attention, they wished that he never came back home but God shamed them and brought Buhari back hale and hearty,” he enthused.
Speaking further, the Rivers APC chairman alleged that the Rivers Government was operating without a budget for the past two years because the people in authority thought President Buhari would not return.
He said: “Rivers government officials thought Buhari will die and nobody will know their corrupt acts but thank God he is alive”.
Ikanya then commended the members of the party for coming out in their numbers to celebrate the President’s return despite the heavy rain.
“Thank you for celebrating the return of Nigeria`s man of integrity that has made the world to listen to our country. A President we are proud of and pray that God shall continue to keep him for Nigerians,” he said.
Dr Sam-Sam Jaja, a member of APC Board of Trustees, in his own comments said that Buhari got ill as a result of the fight against corruption and while adding that the president’s return was a victory for light of over darkness because God had put the enemies of Nigeria to shame, noted that Rivers people and other Nigerians were rejoicing for the safe return and in good health of President Buhari.
Addressing the purpose and essence of the solidarity rally, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs thanked Nigerians for their demonstration of faith, loyalty and love for Mr. President, even as he encouraged his compatriots to continue to support the government, saying that the achievements of any government are dependent on the support it gets from the people.
He then prayed for God to sustain the good health of President Buhari and urged Nigerians to continue to pray for good health for the President.
Highpoint of the hugely successful rally was the presentation and adoption of a communique which welcomed President Buhari home from his medical vacation, affirmed that Nigerians had voted for integrity and the fight against corruption, extolled the virtues of the President and encouraged him not to relent in his avowed commitment to fight corruption and emphasised that the growing fortunes of the APC in Rivers state.
The communique, which was read by Comrade Alex Wele representing the Civil Societies Organizations and overwhelmingly endorsed by the impressive crowd, also appealed to President Buhari to address some key infrastructural concerns including the East/West Road, the Onne Seaport, the UNEP Report and the upgrading of the Port Harcourt International Airport, amongst others.
Reported by David Diai (Photos from DLB Archives).