– By David Diai and Ibiere Tom-West
The groundswell of support in Rivers state, for the gubernatorial bid
of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, received another major boost, when a massive group comprising prominent traditional rulers, respected Community leaders, Leaders of thought, Opinion leaders and Concerned citizens of Degema, Asari Toru and Akuku Toru Local Government Areas in the State, threw their weight behind
his quest to become the Governor of Rivers state, in 2019.
Rising from an enlarged meeting of leaders and indigenes of the Local government Areas, held in Port Harcourt, on Monday, December 3, the traditional rulers, Chiefs and other key stakeholders from the Kalabari ethnic nationality of Rivers State, moved a motion endorsing and adopting Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs for the 2019 Governorship of Rivers State, citing pathetic cases of political marginalization and infrastructural neglect of the area, by successive administrations in the state over
the years, amongst the reasons for pitching their tent with the Accord party, Rivers State governorship candidate.
According to the motion, titled: “Adopting our Son, Chief Barrister Dumo Lulu-Briggs As Governorship Candidate Without Borders”, which was read by His Royal Highness, Chief Dumo Kaizer Johnny Oruobu, Acting Regent of Ogurama Kingdom, the Kalabari ethnic nationality had been instrumental to the creation of Rivers and Bayelsa States, respectively as well as the national recognition of the area now referred to as the Niger
Delta Region, but despite the tireless efforts and monumental
contributions of renowned statesmen like Chief Wenike Briggs and Chief Nabo Graham-Douglas amongst others, who rose national prominence, the
Kalabari area continues to lack infrastructural development and adequate welfare and other existential amenities.
Recalling the observation by a former Military Administrator of the state, Colonel Zamani Lekwot in 1976, that the peoples of Delga,
Asalga and Akulga were richly blessed with human resources in all facets of human endeavor, including politics, the motion lamented that none of the sons or daughters of Kalabari extraction had been worthy to be nominated by any political party and elected to be Governor of
either old or new Rivers State and the time for that negative
situation to be remedied had now come with the emergence of Dumo Lulu-Briggs, as a governorship candidate of one of the major political parties in the country.
The motion reads: “And in view of the Fact that the time is long overdue for Delga, Asalga and Akulga to produce the next Governor of Rivers state to redress the lopsided political engineering architecture of the state – a demand which, every ethnic nationality in Rivers state also see and view as very legitimate, and appropriate, I move this motion with a mind as free as the winds of the skies, with a heart as loving as the love which the appearance of the Dove at Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ signified, with a
consideration for fairness, equity, and justice, as lucid and as temperate as fair winds that propel foundering boats to safe berths at friendly islands, and with a conviction about the appropriateness of what I am putting forward to you, that is as unshakable as the rock of Gibraltar, that we should, as those who have been marginalized and denied
our fair share in the management of our dear Rivers State, please wake up from our long slumber, and with uncompromising resolve, adopt our illustrious son, our brother, our nephew, our cousin, our friend and associate, Chief Barrister Dumo Lulu-Briggs- a very successful Business Magnate, and mogul, a respectful God-fearing citizen of our land and a man who has presented himself very well, for the daunting and herculean task of Statecraft, with an impeccable and an unassailable pedigree, as the Governorship candidate of the Accord Party which has found him worthy to produce him as their flag bearer, in so far as the elections slated to hold in the year 2019 are concerned”.
Moving the motion for adoption, His Royal Highness, Chief Dumo Kaizer Johnny Oruobu said, “And I move this motion, with nothing but the correction of the imbalance of the political deliverables of our dear Rivers State that is skewed against Delga, Asalga and Akulga at the back and in front of our mind …I so move my dear compatriots…”
The motion was seconded by a prominent traditional ruler, Chief Horsfall, who noted that it was comprehensive and needed no further addition, and while adding that he was impressed with the courage displayed by the Kalabari people to support Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as their kinsman, admonished his people to embrace the mandate
wholeheartedly and seek divine favour for success through prayers, saying: “A family that prays together stays together and we need to strengthen our resolve and our land with prayers”.
His Royal Majesty, King Diamond Tobin West, Amanyanabo of Okpo, who also chaired the meeting, then put the question for adoption of the motion to the full house and Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs was unanimously
adopted, with loud cheer and jubilation, as the Governorship candidate of the Delga, Asalga and Akulga people, come 2019.
Responding to the unanimous endorsement and adoption, an elated Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who only recently dumped the All Progressives Congress,
APC to pick the Rivers governorship ticket in the Accord Party, pledged that he would justify the confidence reposed in him by the groups representing the Kalabari Ethnic nationality, even as he affirmed that his decision to contest for the governorship of Rivers State was not motivated by personal ambition but was about Rivers people and the desire to secure the future of Rivers state and give every Rivers Man, woman and child a sense of belonging in their state.
Drawing allusion to the rapid transformation of Lagos State from a land of insecurity to become one of the fastest growing Economies in Africa, in less than two decades, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs decried the
lack of visionary leadership that has impacted negatively on industrialization, denied the people of adequate welfare and infrastructural amenities and generally unleashed a regime of
insecurity, uncertainty and hopelessness in Rivers State, pledging, that he would create jobs and opportunities for gainful employment for Rivers people, enhance a conducive environment for Rivers Economy to thrive and attract rapid and friendly investment, ensure
appropriate respect and recognition for established traditional institutions, engage the youths in mentorship and capacity building programmes as a first step towards addressing and resolving the insecurity situation and open up new cities and commercial hubs to
spread development and government presence to all the nooks and crannies of the state.
“I have been exposed to a lot of experiences abroad and nationally which can be replicated here in Rivers State. We are going to open up Rivers communities to commercialization and growth and provide the people
with welfare and infrastructural amenities, but most importantly, we will give all Rivers people a sense of belonging. We will go to all nooks and crannies to find out the needs of the people, address all their needs and ensure that we transform our communities and link effective tourism successfully to our communities,” Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs affirmed.
Speaking further on his vision for Rivers state, the Accord Party Governorship Candidate pledged to make the elections a peaceful one with appropriate messaging to the people, assuring that it was also do-able and he would mobilize all hands to ensure that Rivers people are given the Rivers state they have desired
for a long time.
“There is a lot of work to be done and this mandate you have given to me today is the green light we need for the work to start immediately.
“Prayer is key to success and I am happy we have called on God to take control and guide our quest to liberate our state and our people. I have committed a lot as a private citizen and I will surely do more as Governor of Rivers State.
“I have pledged to make this a peaceful election with the appropriate messaging to our people and ensure that not a single bullet will be shot. We will do this election in such a way that at the end of it, even the losers will be happy that they lost to me,” Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs concluded confidently.
High point of the adoption meeting was the signing of the resolution by the traditional rulers, chiefs, leaders of thought, elders and representatives of the people of Degema, Akuku-Toru and Asari Toru Local government Areas, including former Rivers Governorship candidate Chief Bekinbo Soberekon, His Majesty, Chief (Dr.) I.D Minapakama, Chief Tamunobere Orusah, Alabo K.N Sokubo, King Gibson Bala, Chief Enoch Ekine, High Chief A.S Damiebi, Chief Opuda Orumo, Chief Alabo Kiri, High Chief Philip Agu, Alabo Fubara Koko, Chief Alabo Kiri, Chief Awola Amachree, High Chief (Dr) Omubo Harry, Chief Dumo Black George and over 50 traditional rulers, elders and statesmen, endorsing and adopting Chief
Dumo Lulu-Briggs as their undisputed choice to become the governor of Rivers state in 2019.