Saturday, January 14, 2023 was another landmark day in the unfolding Rivers Political landscape ahead of the forthcoming general elections, as the Rives State chapter of Accord, its Governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs and Deputy Governorship candidate, Tambari Hilda Dedam, received the endorsement of the Rivers State Ministers Forum for Good Governance, led by Apostle Godwin Tom and Pastor Dumo Whyte.
According to the Clergy men, the endorsement isn’t by accident, it is not by chance, not by accident or the political sagacity of the time, But that it is an action divinely masterminded by God.
The clergy described the endorsement as a necessity that was propelled by the arrogance, oppression and intimidation that have been meted against the people of God, here in Rivers State.
In buttressing their point, the group gave the story in the Bible about a certain King, saying, “there was a certain man in the world sometime ago who was so powerful that the Bible described him as a tree that was Tall to the heavens, and something happened along the line that one day the tree was cutdown, but thereafter the tree started growing again. That Tree was a man”, the clergy said.
“But then, the tree while it regained its growth came to the understanding that whatever any man becomes on earth, there is power to become, and God is the architect of whatever any man become; that man’s name was Nebuchadnezzar. He woke up from the jungle with the body of an animal, with sweat and eating grasses, he was the greatest. He thought he was the only man, he speaks with audacity, with pride and violence. But one day He that owns the Heavens and Earth proved to him that “I own the Land, I own the animals, I divided the sea, I formed everything you see on Earth and I decide who sits on the Throne”, the clergy stated.
“Therefore in 2023 that’s what is going to happen in Rivers State. He that own the Heaven and Earth is about to sit somebody, we are seeing a new Government in Rivers State, and we are seeing a new dimension that people do not believe. Therefore, as Representatives of God, we have gathered and agreed with Heaven that enough is enough, and have come here to enthrone somebody whose heart is the heartbeat of God. God has decided to put somebody in the leadership throne of Rivers State”, they stated.
The clergy continued, “We have heard about you, you have the heart of God, even from the days of your father, this kind heart of yours has lived into the continuation in you. So, we know that if you become our head we will not cry. You are like Job; the eyes to the blind, the feet to the lame, a father to the poor, and even the challenges that aren’t yours, you bear them and gave rest to those it affected (Job 25:15-16)”, they said.
The clergy added, “It is for this reason we have come to stand not only by you but with you to officially endorse you, as diverse powers and diverse alters to enthrone you, H.E. Dumo Lulu-Briggs and your Deputy, Tambari Hilda Dedam as the next Governor of Rivers State and Deputy Governor of Rivers State, so that things will begin to be as God planned it to be, that it will no more be Business as usual, where men rise up to do things in their own way. In 2023, God has said things will be done differently, according to His own way. As General Overseers of different Churches, we are going to speak to our members and they will hear us; when we say Vote for Dumo Lulu-Briggs, that is what they will do. Because, when the Righteous rule the people will rejoice. The hour for Rivers people to Rejoice has come, and that joy is connected with the leadership of Dumo Lulu-Briggs and his Deputy, Tambari Hilda Dedam”, the Ministers of God declared.
In his response, the Governorship candidate of Accord in Rivers State, the God’s chosen, God’s qualified and God’s anointed candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, said, “I don’t know what to put this Grace to. I don’t know what I have done to deserve this gathering, this gathering of Clergy!
“I see here men and women of Faith, men and women who knows that it is only God that can anoint and choose a Leader. But even God oftentimes will do that anointing through His servants.
“So, He told Samuel to go to the house of Jessy and anoint the next King of Israel.
“Well you know the people of Israel were being governed by men of God, until they said they wanted a King like they have in other nations, a King that will take them to war, the King that will look majestic. The description of king they gave suited Saul, so God gave them Saul and he became their king. But when they began to groan under the rain and sun, the same Samuel whom they have rejected interceded on their behalf, and God said okay, “I shall now give them a King from after my own heart, therefore, go to the home of Jessy and anoint the next King”.
“So he went to the home of Jessy, and he was very elated that he was going to produce the next King, and so called out all the sons, One after the other they came out. But of those that the father deemed it befitting of a King, none was qualified except the very one, David, that the father didn’t see fit, whom he described as a tender of sheep, he became the qualified one and got the anointing of God. That tells us that God doesn’t choose the most qualified, He qualifies His Chosen.
“You know, growing up my father always said me “the Hour shall find the man”, and in Times like this, the Hour finds the Man, and the man takes upon himself the very Onerous responsibility, because to whom much is given so much more is expected. This is that time we have found ourselves.
“I do not know if I am the David, But I do know that my father’s baptismal name was David, So there’s a David that I am connected to somehow.
“As we also know, the day David was anointed to the day he accessed the crown, it took him 15 years. In that time he was running for his dear life, hiding in caves, looking for what to eat; he passed through the eye of the crucible. I believe that, that was God’s time to prepare David for rulership.
“Upon this, even after 15 years, he was only King of Judea. It took him additional 7 years before he became King of the entire Israel. In that time, David had been fully prepared to be King. David was the only one that God said twice that, “this is a man after my own heart”. So, if you are a man after God’s own Heart, it means that you cannot But deliver.
“So, we are at that time now in the history of our Dear Rivers State. This was a State created just as we read in the Bible when God gave His Children of Israel a land of Canaan filled with milk and honey. Rivers State was created for a single purpose, To offer prosperity to her people.
“When Rivers State was prosperous and was doing well, we didn’t know who was Ikwerre, Kalabari, Ogoni or Ekpeye, except that we were one big happy Rivers family. Every parent was a parent to every child in the neighborhood, That was how we grew.
“Today, we have returned to our tiny cleavages, where ethnicity thrives, Religion thrives. We now know who is Kalabari, Ogoni, and even amongst those who are Ikwerre, who is Kalabari, They know the ones who are Kalabari from Abonnema and the ones who are Kalabari from Buguma, and the ones who are Kalabari from Tombia, and sometimes even if you are Kalabari, you may have to be from Abonnema, Buguma or Tombia, It is that Bad! If you are from Ikwerre, you may have to come from Rumuprikon, otherwise you will not be qualified for certain things. That has become the bane of our society Today!
“So, we shall have a great responsibility to take Rivers State to her place of Great Destiny which is to offer prosperity to All. So if you look at our agenda, if you look across here, you will find out that what we have been preaching is the “We agenda”, stating that, You matter, that we all matter. It is no longer the time of I, or They, but “We”, and that the minimum we shall do, is to offer prosperity to Rivers people.
“We know that will happen only after elections, and we have been Voted into office. But from your words, from your mouth to the Ears of God. You have decreed it, you have wished it, you have willed it, and therefore, It shall come to Pass.
“Our responsibility when that time comes is to remember that God did not make us Governor so that we shall become big men, But God made us Governor so that we shall bring Prosperity to all of His people.
“I didn’t know that it was in the Bible that God created us to enjoy, Not to endure. I didn’t know! I attended service on one of the Sundays last year, and was taught that we were created to enjoy, and they gave us the Bible portion and I looked at it and found out that, indeed it is True that God created us to enjoy. But I also saw that what God told us we will enjoy is the fruit of our labour; “And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God”. Ecclesiastes 3:13.
“Which means that the enjoyment must come, but that enjoyment shall be heralded by the fruit of our labour, the sacrifices that we make. So, you can see that even the promises of God we have to work for. God will promise you Canaan, and you know that you can just go to sleep and wake up, and you are in Canaan, You see there is nothing God wants that God cannot do. But again He has given you Canaan, and then you have to walk through the wilderness to get to Canaan. In that Time, those who lost faith also lost Canaan, Those who has faith made Canaan.
“So, for all of us here, we will have that Rives State of our dream if we decide to work for it. Because we can only get a Government that will put you First, to give you that State that you want.
“I have said to everybody who have cared to listen, that, the Reason why you support us is because you believe that through the government that we shall form, you shall also realize your own aspirations for yourselves. That must be the only reason you support us.
“Some have said I am qualified to be Governor because I am a Philanthropist, and I have said that’s not enough, that only speaks to my mind. But we know that we need both the Right Heart and the Right Head. What is enough is whether you are certain that I have the capacity to expand the economy to accommodate all of us. What is important is whether or not I have the capacity to strengthen our institutions of State to hold all our aspirations, whether or not I have the disposition to spread opportunities across board. Because again, as we know, we all cannot be born Rich, Tall Lucky and Handsome, that is reason we have a Government that shall create a level playing field, and afford to each and everyone of us a fair chance of success in this race of life.
“So, men of the clergy, at times like this, those whose faith are not as firm and as strong as yours may fall by the wayside, But you cannot afford to fall by the wayside. You cannot afford to be deficient in the courage necessary, To rise to the challenges of the pressing needs of this present time. Which is why I am so glad when I see that in Churches today they have set up departments in politics and governance, urging all their people to go out and get their PVCs. They may not always tell them to go and Vote, but they just speak in Tongues and their flock will understand their language. But they tell them that you must equip yourselves with that power which is your PVC, so that on that Day, in the privacy of you and your polling booth, You cast your Vote for your future. You are not casting your Vote for Dumo Lulu-Briggs, for Accord or for any party, You are casting your Vote for your future.
“So, in casting your Vote for either Accord or any other party, you must remember that the Vote that you are doing is a Vote for the kind of future that you envisage for yourself, and thet you believe that this man or woman is he or she whose administration will help you to realize your own aspirations for yourself.
“We went to commission our Party Secretariat in Abua-Odual, and as it has become customary of us, after such exercise, we go into the community to see how our people are faring, Oftentimes we choose the markets. So, on this day we also chose the market. We got to the market and we saw a woman, old in age, slightly above 80. We got there at about 4pm, and she has been at that market from 8am in the morning till about that time we arrived, 4pm. When we looked at what she sells, they were just leaves in a tray that she carried. So we asked Mama how much was what she was carrying in her tray? and she said N280.00 (Two hundred and eighty naira only). So for M280.00 Mama has been there from 8am in the morning till about 4pm when we got there, without as much as water to drink. So on election day when you go out to Vote, You shall be Voting for that old woman, Not for Dumo, Not for Accord. You will cast your Vote for that woman so that her life will not be the same.
“Because what happens to us oftentimes depends on the type of Government we have in place and the priorities of that Government. Now, we are not here to run anybody down, But we are saying that this State is capable of very Great Destiny. This was a State where our public schools were about the best; everybody, whether son of a Commissioner, Parmanent Secretary or a Farner, we all attended same school and taught by same teachers. All of us, we learnt the same skills, and so that gave opportunity to even the son of the poor to become somebody. We have to reintroduce that.
“Our schools were so good that those who taught us Physics, Chemistry and Biology were Indians and Pakistanis. At Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borokiri, the man who taught myself and the DG of this campaign organization English was an English man. This is not to mean that we are saying we want to bring Pakistans to come and take the job of Nigerians, we are saying, at that time we were taught by the very best.
“Therefore, we shall have no Responsibility but to ensure that those we would call our teachers are taught very well themselves, are equipped with the tools that they need to teach the Next generation. We shall have the very best and Introduce them into teaching in our public institutions. So what used to happen in the past, which is that the children of the rich are sent to go to school abroad, when we equip our institutions with first class Twenty-first Century learning materials and give ourselves the best teachers, we will not find reason to send our children to go to the UK to go and study. It shall be such that people In the UK will come to Nigeria, and come to Rives State to come and Study. It is a must that this is our covenant with the people.
“You see, what happens is that, we go to the UK and we are charged overseas student’s fees, that has come an an end. They will bring their people here, and we will all charge them overseas student’s fees.
“So, the next Administration In Rivers State must have to think outside the box, it cannot be Business as usual. Because the dissonance that we see all around us, the discord all around, No matter what you do, if you try to make sense of it, What we must all remember is that revolutions don’t come by appointment, they happen on us. The suffering is too much.
“So, what you are trying to do today and what you are doing today, is to show the Way. But what you started now is just the beginning; the message has to go round. We have to prepare Rivers people to cast their Votes, and to Vote very wisely. That is what you have a responsibility to do, You cannot afford to fail. Beyond the Words that you speak here Today, are the actions that you put in place. So that when viewed in the backwards hands of history our inactions will not stand as an eternal monuments against us. Because as we know it and as we see it, God is watching, and history is waiting. Thank you and God bless you all”.
The Governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs while he spoke briefly made a concise but bitter truth comparison analysis of how Lagos State and Rivers State were at par in 1999, but Today Lagos has left us far behind with a progressive mark of being the 4th or 5th largest economy in Africa. According to him, this should, it is possible for us to surpass Lagos State, But we have to be sure that we are ready to work for it by Voting in the Right candidates with the Right Head and Heart that will restore the Dignity of Rivers State and her people.