Distinguished Rivers State legal luminary and the top contender for the Rivers State All Progressives Congress, APC, 2019 Governorship ticket, has thrown his weight solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s preference and endorsement of direct primaries in the APC Party primaries to elect candidates to fly the party’s flag in the 2019 general elections, even as he has declared that his aspiration to become the next governor of Rivers State is to improve the living standards of Rivers people and give expression to the ordinary and voiceless Rivers man woman and child who lives in the shadows of life and has been neglected by governments for so long.
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs made these disclosures, while fielding questions with newsmen after concluding a hugely successful rally, on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, attended by thousands of his supporters and APC party faithful, who had joined him in a triumphant march across major streets in Port-Harcourt and besieged his campaign office in droves, to hear the well-loved philanthropist and renowned business mogul formally declare his intention to contest for the Rivers state governorship ticket under the Al Progressives Congress, APC, before his people at home.
Justifying his reasons for supporting the use of Direct Primaries by Rivers State APC to select candidates to fly the party’s flag in all elective positions come 2019, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs averred that not only has the method been upheld by the President and national leadership of the party, but it will equally give the people the opportunity to be directly involved in the process of electing those to represent them at all levels of governance.
He said; “The national leadership of the party has been preaching Direct Primaries. The President of this country, who is the embodiment of what this change that the APC represents is speaking about Direct Primaries. And why does the President insist on Direct Primaries? It is because he wants to return power to the people. He wants to ensure that it is the peoples choice that gets to represent them at their political parties, and also at their state governments. At the local government and at the Federal government. And everybody who is in the APC and believes in the change mantra of the APC and Mr. President must align with the President to give power back to the people.
“So it is not about me wanting Direct Primaries. It is about the President wanting Direct primaries and it is about me understanding the reason why Direct Primaries is good for all of us. There is no way that, if I want all of us to discontinue with this traitorous experience that our people have always had with their leaders, that I will not stand for Direct primaries. Direct Primaries gives the power back to you. It gives the power back to the man and the woman on the street and to the APC members who cannot leave the wards to the APC person who is in the market. Direct primaries brings the process right to their domain and there is no way we shouldn’t support that. So I support the President’s desire to change this country whole heartedly, without limitations and without any fear,” he stated emphatically.
Addressing the issue of his governorship aspiration, which had attracted great debate in recent times, following speculations that he had withdrawn from the race in the wake of certain actions and pronouncements by some top members of his party, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, categorically re-stated his decision to contest the Rivers APC governorship primaries, by confirming that he had bought and submitted his governorship nomination and expression of interest forms and, while he would subsequently be proceeding to the party’s national secretariat for the screening exercise, which he had no doubts he would scale successfully, affirmed confidently that he was ready for the governorship primary which he was very confident of winning.
“Your aspiration has got to be bigger than you otherwise it is not an aspiration that is worth listening to and would not be worth the attention of anybody. It has to be about the people. You must know that you are asking the people to give you their mandate so that you can give the best expression to their collective hopes and aspirations. Therefore you have to speak the language that they understand, you have to make them believe that this is about them and you have to also truly believe that this is about them. So when I speak to my people, when i speak to the faithful, I know that they all have hinged their hopes and aspirations on what we are trying to achieve. So it would never be easy to give up on those persons, especially those who in the shadows of life. Those who are hoping to get a better living, a better life through this aspirations.
“So the way we spoke today, was to encourage them to continue in that hope and to make everyone believe in himself, to believe in ourselves and to invite God into our activities and commit diligently to your dreams, your aspirations and hope for the very best So am sure that this is what the aspiration is all about. As you have noticed, I’ve picked the nomination forms and I’ve submitted the nomination forms. Tomorrow and the next few days the screening exercise itself would commence and by the Grace of God I shall be cleared and then we shall contest this primaries and win it so that we can begin the people’s work. This is about putting the people first and that work has to begin,” he said without mincing words.
Speaking further on his quest to become the governor of Rivers state, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who has over the years, become symbolic as a beloved humanitarian and youth mentor and whose excellent reputation has soared to impressive heights to the extent that he has now come to be regarded across Rivers state and beyond with overflowing goodwill and acceptance in every gathering, as a result of his warmth, simplicity, unparalleled benevolence, de-tribalized accommodation, unconditional generousity and compassionate love and humane kindness to his fellow men and women, stressed that the time had come for governance to reflect and address the yearnings of the people and provide comfort and security for the indigenes and citizens of the state.
According to him; “Always, when you see me, I think my whole body constitution speaks a different language. You must understand that the things that animate me are those things that work for our people. So this aspirations is about every Rivers man, every Rivers woman and every Rivers child. That time has come when government must begin to be representative. When people must begin to insist that their hopes, their dreams are carried into governance and that government must provide those dividends of democracy which they had hoped to have since 1999 and which in so many ways have eluded them to this day.
“So this aspiration is about those people on the streets who don’t have a voice. Whom you have said you want to speak on their behalf. If you give up on their aspirations you have given up on them. We cannot give up on the people who have lived in the shadows of life. They all want a better life and we must stand for them. We must make sure that we move our people from unemployment to employment. We must make sure that we move our people from poverty into prosperity. That is the minimum we can do. And my aspiration is hinged solely on that. Nothing to do with me. It is bigger than me. It is way too big. It is an idea whose time has come and it is an idea we must pursue,” the great statesman stated with complete conviction.
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who was also quick to clear the air that he was not campaigning by fielding questions with newsmen in the interactive session, since the time for campaigns had not yet started, however shed some light in very clear terms, on his general observations concerning the present situation of things in Rivers state, highlighting the deplorable state of insecurity and the existential challenges which which Rivers people have constantly complained and lamented about in recent times.
He said; “Well there is a whole lot of things we plan to do for our people, but we also have to be careful of the thin line between asking for your party’s nomination and actually campaigning, because the time for campaigns haven’t started. But the minimum we can say is that our state has become terribly polarized. The level of hate that people have introduced into our politics is frightening, is worrying and is dizzying. Therefore, we have to change our politics because if we don’t get the politics right we will not get the governance right and if we don’t get the governance right we can’t get the economics right because it is the economics that determines whether or not your kids are able to go to school, whether or not they are able to get their bursaries when they go to school, whether or not they are able to get good medicare when they fall ill, whether or not they are able to afford their own homes, whether or not they are able to own their own businesses and their own homes. The economics has to be expanded to accommodate the aspirations of all of us in this state. Therefore we have to make sure that all of these processes are followed in a way that will ensure that the peoples aspirations are met.
“So in a nutshell, you are going to see a difference in government. You will find a situation where we can ask ourselves, let us take just one example, greater Port Harcourt. Has it become truly greater? Is greater Port Harcourt truly a greater or it is still a dream? Should Port Harcourt still remain a one big city in our state? What are the things we can do to give our people hope? Do we enjoy the politics as we see it? Do we enjoy the divisions a we see it? It has happened to a point where people are bothered, that we have a mob who will not allow them to take a walk. That we have a people who will not even allow them to go to bed at night. Our kids are hungry, our cities and communities, and with the young men and women who government have given up on. It must not be so. We have to encourage them. We have to educate them, we have to mentor them and we have to teach them that there are values. We need a complete value re-orientation because we must have that state of our dreams and the young people of this state are the ones that hold the future of this state. So they must hold the most meaning to all of us. That is the least that we can do for them and that is the reason I want to be governor of Rivers state,” the distinguished Rivers son stated unequivocally.
The frontline member of the All Progressives Congress, APC Rivers State, who had earlier re-iterated his commitment to the party and pledged his loyalty and support to the leader Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the other leaders, in the process of building a formidable political party, also noted that only a strong political party can win elections and in that light, called on all members of the party, who have toiled and made enormous sacrifices in the party, to go all out to vote for him as the candidate who can ensure the greatest participation of party members in the affairs of the party and in government, adding that as a loyal party man, he would apply himself most assiduously and most vigorously to the growth of the party.
“A vote for Dumo Lulu-Briggs is therefore a vote to preserve the intrinsic values and benefits enshrined in party organization and party membership. A vote for me shall encourage party members to work harder for the party, knowing that their efforts shall always be rewarded. We have to lift these artificial weights from the shoulders of our men and women and clear the paths of laudable pursuits for all, to give everyone an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.”
Concluding the media session with the newsmen, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs expressed his unshakeable confidence that the people of Rivers state already have faith in him that he can deliver on their mandate and while pledging to commit himself wholeheartedly to justifying the trust the people have reposed in him to be their champion, assured that he had already entered a divine covenant with God to work for the ordinary people, even as appealed for them to support his aspiration and seize the golden opportunity presented to them by joining him in the work to make Rivers state a better place for one and all.
“The people have faith in me and I want to assure them that that faith in me is one that I hold so dear to my heart. And that I have committed my everything to God. This is a covenant I have entered into with God to work for the small man, the small woman, the child who is on the street and I invite you all to support this aspiration, take it to your homes and communities and tell everybody that we now have opportunity to introduce that change we all so desire. That time has come and the opportunity is before us. We must recognize it and work with it and use it to make sure we bring it to fruition. I thank you all very much,” the number one and most popular contender to the Rivers APC Governorship ticket, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs ended confidently and with resounding conviction.