– By David Diai
Prominent member of Rivers state All Progressives Congress, APC and leading contender for the party’s gubernatorial ticket in the state, Chief Dumo Lulu -Briggs, has purchased the APC governorship form at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, today Monday September 10, 2018, in accordance with the directive of the National Executive committee of the APC to all intending aspirants in the gubernatorial race.
The decision of Chief Dump Lulu -Briggs to purchase the APC governorship and expression of interest form, has not only laid to rest the wide spread speculations about his position and status on the Rivers state governorship race, following the Thursday, August 30 pronouncement of the Transportation Minister and leader of Rivers APC, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of his preference for another lesser known aspirant and top businessman Mr. Tonye Cole, but is indeed a clear sign of the committed intention of the man popularly known as DLB across Rivers state, to contest the APC governorship primaries in the state.
Rivers political watchers will recall that following the pronouncement of the Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi of his preferred candidate, which was greeted with wide spread surprise, shock and disbelief in the state and especially among many APC faithful, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who many had tipped as the front-line governorship aspirant of the APC in Rivers state, had issued a powerful, thought-provoking statement, informing the party that he would consult widely to determine his next line of action in the wake of the Minister’s pronouncement.
In that famous statement, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs had made it clear to the leadership of Rivers APC that: “My interest in the governorship seat of Rivers State was not a hasty decision. It has spanned over a decade; built on consultations and supported by people who have volunteered because of our extensive engagements and consultations and their dreams of a greater, more prosperous Rivers State. My aspiration has acquired a status that is beyond Dumo Lulu-Briggs. It is therefore in this respect that we are unable to make a definitive statement at this point in time, considering that we have to consult and inform our supporters about the August 30th endorsement of Arch. Tonye Cole by our leader”
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, while re-affirming his unequivocal belief in the unity of the APC and his unalloyed loyalty to the leader, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, whose mantra is the scripture that says ” God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this: that power belongeth unto God” (Psalm 62:11), further assured the party that his final position on the matter, after due consultations with his immediate and political family, key players, elders, stakeholders and leaders of the party, would eventually enhance the gains of the APC in Rivers State and make it even bigger and stronger.
“We do this believing that the will of God in my life and the lives of each and everyone of us shall surely happen. Let none of my supporters therefore despair and let none be disrespectful of the party, its membership and our great leader. Praise God, for He alone is worthy,” the statement had concluded.
However, a subtle yet clinical agenda to misinform the general public that he had been subdued and perhaps intimidated to chicken out of the Rivers state governorship race, had commenced and fuelled by certain interests, which compelled Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs to issue a further statement on September 5, 2018, clarifying his position and clearing the air on his governorship intentions.
The statement read in part: “My attention has been drawn to insinuations in some political circles within the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that I, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has conceded and withdrawn from the 2019 governorship race. I state emphatically and unequivocally that it is complete falsehood that I have withdrawn from the governorship race.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I Dumo Lulu-Briggs, am still in the race and fully prepared, ready, willing and able to seek the office of governor of Rivers State in 2019 under the APC. My ambition was not spontaneous but borne out of long held vision spanning over a decade for the overall progress and development of Rivers State,” he stated emphatically.
Referring to the provisions of the APC constitution, which provides constitutional procedures and processes for deciding who flies the flag of the party in any election, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, while making it clear that the leader of the party, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi only expressed support for his preferred aspirant and has not “appointed” any governorship candidate, confirmed that: “I am committed to taking full opportunities of our party’s guidelines to achieve my aspiration. I therefore call on Rivers people to discountenance these unfounded rumours about my purported withdrawal from the 2019 Rivers State governorship race,” he stated categorically.
The confirmation of his intention to contest the Rivers APC governorship primaries has now been fully actualised by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who was accompanied to the APC headquarters in Abuja, by loyalists and strong party leaders including a former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Iyk Oji (JP), to purchase the expression of interest and Governorship forms to contest the Rivers state governorship election primaries of the APC.
Declaring his intention to contest the Rivers APC Governorship primary after purchasing the forms, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs said: “Today, 10th of September 2018, I have followed the directives of God Almighty, I have taken a stand to pursue my age long dream of humbly serving my people as the Governor of Rivers State.As a faithful party man with firm commitment to service to God and humanity, I have collected the APC gubernatorial form to contest the Rivers State APC Governorship primaries. We believe that God’s will is supreme and will prevail at last. May God bless APC and her able leadership and may He also bless our dear Rivers State. To God be the glory,” he concluded confidently.
The real expectation now is that the Rivers APC will fulfil it’s promise and pledge as a party which prides itself as one that upholds democratic tenets and principles by conducting a befitting governorship primary, where the majority of the APC members in the state will be given the platform and opportunity to choose the popular governorship candidate of their choice to fly the party’s flag in the 2019 Rivers state governorship election.