Saturday, January 21, 2023 was a remarkable and dramatic day for Rivers Accord and its teeming supporters, as the growing spate of political attacks against opposition parties in the State finally greeted them with considerable impact in Igbo-Etche a popular and emerging satellite community next to the state capital territory area, located in Etche LGA of Rivers State.
Organized thugs, allegedly operating on the instructions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP leadership in the Local Government Area, deliberately set up an impromptu, illegal roadblock, barricaded the road to prevent the Accord convoy from proceeding on their colourful peaceful, exciting roadshow and miscreants and hooligans, wielding dangerous weapons unleashed an orgy of unprovoked violent attack on the unsuspecting, defenceless Accord supporters.
A hail of bottles, stones, sticks, cudgels and other dangerous and harmful objects rained on the Accord supports. Gunshots were aimed and fired deliberately at the convoy, especially the vehicle of the Rivers Accord Governorship candidate, and it will not be of place to surmise that the renowned philanthropist and leading Rivers guber candidate escaped a clear assasination attempt, as the bullet hole on the windscreen of his white open roof Campaign truck indicated after the melee. The Accord convoy frantically beat a e truck indicated
An assessment of the situation, having first secured safety from the sponsored mob revealed damaged vehicles and various injuries sustained by Accord supporters as they fled for heir dear lives from the melee. After making certain the wounded were attended to and in a safe zone, the “Rivers Guber Road Show” train undeterredly proceeded to Ndashi Community in Etche, to continue with its Road Show (walk) and commission her party Secretariat in the LGA.
The train however made a brief stop at Akwu community at the invite of a renowned Chief who also felt that the unfortunate incident was quite embarrassing, sad, uncalled for and Not in the character of Etche people, especially to a noble character as the Governorship candidate of Rivers Accord who is a known light to Rivers people, an individual that has become an institution going by the way and manner he has impacted many lives in the area of Human Capital Development, from his hard earned individual resources.
On arrival, Chief Precious Dike welcomed the Team and thanked the Governorship candidate for honouring the invite, and went ahead to apologize for the unruly behavior meted at him and his team. According to him, this isn’t the character of Etche people, and that this is why they need a change, a change that will come and better the lives of the Youths that have been misdirected. That his door is always opened to welcome him whenever he deem fit, that their Votes will surely be for him, for it’s only normal and reasonable that a man of his calibre become the next Governor of Rivers State.
The Governorship candidate while responding to the hospitality given him and his team by Akwu community, said, “let me first of all say Happy New Year to you people. I thank HH, the prime minister of this beautiful community. You know, when your Chief spoke, he asked for a need, and that need was a Microfinance bank. But that need is the least of the things we plan to do in Etche. You know, people don’t understand that this campaign that we run now is Divine.
There is a task given to us, because God wants to bless the the people of Rivers State, and He has selected people who will do nothing but bring prosperity to Rivers people; that’s the essence of the politics that we are playing now. This is why we aren’t deterred of all the schemings, orchestrations, that have taken place. Because the assignment given to us is bigger than all of these things, and God is bigger than all of the people that are planning their own small imaginations, and they can throw all these things at us here and there, left and right.
“Etche is Blessed, and we are going to have industries here. He then outlined all that he plans to do when he takes over office, for the people of Etche. According to him, it is for this great and people oriented vision that the Rivers Accord is bringing to the table, such that will expose their deficiencies and absolute wickedness meted at Rives people for the past 8 years, that they have become so afraid of and decided to become this violent, not wanting other parties to contest.
“But then, we cannot be deterred by their doings, we must see the end of it, this is what God has guaranteed us. God didn’t say that we wouldn’t encounter difficulties. He said he would put food on our table, but that He will do so in the presence of our enemies. So, the enemies will always be there. But when we get into office, we will convert them to friends. Because our government will not be that of, “as e dey pain them, e go dey sweet us”. Ours will be, “as e dey sweet us, e go dey sweet them”, he sang. “They are lucky that the assignment set for us is not to have enemies, but that of using the best of us to work for the rest of us. So, if the best will come from them, so be it. End of the day, it’s that prosperity that we must achieve. He added, “the hate has become so much that to put it down alone is enough for a project of an entire administration.
“For you to come out to host us, I know that you’re a man of character, a decent person, courageous and fearless person who only fears God. Thank you for having us”, he said.
The train then continued to Ndashi Community. There the Chiefs, Elders, Youths and Women came out in their great number to joyfully welcome the Team. While receiving us, they deeply apologized for the unfortunate incident that happened at Igbo-Etche. According to them, it was an act of the frustrating definite fall of the dying Goliath, and that they are filled with unspeakable joy and a reaffirming hope that we were not deterred, But resilient in this pursuit which has shown that indeed the Governorship candidate is on a Rescue Mission that he has taken upon himself and not ready to give up until rescue is carried out. They said, he is indeed the Moses of our time, and that they are ready and willing to be his Aaron and Hur until Victory is achieved.
While speaking, the Rivers Accord Etche Local Government Chairman, Dr Amadi Godwin said, such commissioning of party Secretariat at the LGA and “Guber Road Show” remains the First of its kind in the history of politics in Etche, and they are proud to be part of such history that will forever be spoken of by the lips of generations unborn.
Dr Amadi Godwin on behalf of the party in Etche thanked the Governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs for his support and representation during the sports competition hosted by tertiary institutions, the school fees he paid for students of Tertiary institutions, Jamb slots given, undertook eye surgeries bills, and many more he has sacrificially done for Etche people. According to him, this sacrifices will remain indelible in their minds.
The chairman said, the Governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs is indeed a game changer for economic growth and development, and that is why they in Etche have decided to Vote for Accord in Rivers State. He added, “as the records shows, you are an empowerment machine to the youths, for you have given great importance to the development of the youths, a mission you have been into for a very long time”, he said. He further assured that for the love the Governorship candidate has painstakingly shown to Etche people, Etche people shall resiprocate same by massively Voting for Accord, and make certain that he is enthroned as the next Governor of Rivers State.
The Ndashi youths could not hold back their joy and gratefulness, as they practically showed this in giving awards to key persons in the Governorship campaign train: 1. “Icon of Human Capital Development” Award, to the Governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs. They said, he has made human capital development his lifestyle, as such a destinies helper and a light in the lives of men.
“Award of Honour” Award, to the DG of campaign, Rt Hon Iyk Oji.
“Icon of Peace Award” to the Deputy Governorship candidate, Mrs Tambari Hilda Dedam.
In his response to the people of Ndashi, Etche, the Governorship candidate said, “Very respected Chiefs here present, I want to thank you for making this community a Very wonderful and welcoming community. So many great things have happened from here, and even now, your sons holds sway in Rivers State; It is a great testament to the upbringing that you give to everybody. We want to thank you.
“I and my team are very Happy that we came here, and that you gave us this very warm reception. We shall not forget. In fact, a friend of mine would have said that “we shall retaliate” instead of reciprocate. But what I want to let you know is that, Etche will not be the same again.
“When the Youth leader spoke here he talked about jobs, jobs only! that one go yanfu-yanfu. Because, whenever they ask me, “Dumo, tell us what you have?”, I have answered, “I have jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs for the Men, jobs for the Women, jobs for the Boys, jobs for the Girls, jobs that will last us forevermore!” So jobs yanfu-yanfu, Etche will host industries, Industries. One of your Chiefs said he wanted a microfinance bank, and I don’t know why we should be talking about microfinance banks when you should be hosting banks.
“But I can tell you that, that’s a given, But been prepared for the kind of revolution we want to bring to Rivers State, the kind of prosperity we want to usher into Rivers State, by the time we finish, nobody will be talking about Roads and the rest that we did, we will be talking about your sons and daughters who own their own homes and businesses. Your sons and daughters who have become Millionaires and Billionaires, industries will be here, we shall have humongous mills for exports. So, just be prepared to begin to make money here in Etche.
“I also see that your people love education so much, this young man here (bringing a young boy of 12 years that presented a paper on education, to himself) came and presented a paper before us. The number one thing that I saw in him was that he has is courage, courage is very necessary in the world that we live in today. We cannot afford to be deficient in the courage that is necessary for us to live up to the challenges of this very time, and this boy has exhibited that courage. He didn’t just exhibit courage, he exhibited Knowledge, eloquence, proficiency in the spoken language, and I cannot as a parent be prouder of this young man. Therefore, without more, even if I have nothing else, I am guaranteeing this young man scholarship up to University.
“You also mentioned something, that other areas of this LGA have light, and that Ndashi people doesn’t because of N700,000.00. As soon as you mentioned that, I felt sad knowing how important light is to a people; it brings development, it can empower yooths, it brings successful progress to a people, it can Light up the life of a man. So, I immediately called some of my friends, and said to them that I came to a community that have received me so very well, and you people have been my friends helping people across the country and across the globe, I need you to help my Community. Then they asked how much, and I told them they said they have a problem of N700,000.00. But if you add logistics and all that, it may come to about a million, I wouldn’t know. Then they said, “we shall give them the N1,000.000.00 to go and get it done”. So, Ndashi! God has said let there be light, and there shall be! “Light!!!”, the people echoed in response. Ndashi light shall continue to be brighter and brighter, for this is a wonderful community.
“Thank you very much and God bless you all for giving us the magnitude of welcome you gave to us, I shall come back here in no time. I want to believe that you have a Land here for me, because as Governor, I shall come here and build a house I shall live in, as sometimes I will be going to the office from here. Your son Godswill Onyegbu is a man of character and knowledge, you have a great man in him, I would want to live with him here in Ndashi.
“You have a candidate running for an office in the State Assembly, the man Zamani. I will need you to give him your support, so we can work together to give you a good and viable representation”, he concluded.
The team then proceeded with the commissioning of the party Secretariat, ably carried out by the State Chairman of the party, Dr Nnana Onyewkere alongside the Governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
Writing on his verified social media handles, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Rivers Accord Governorship candidate, captured the eventful but highly successful Road Show in Etche LGA, thus:
Today was mixed blessings for me. I call it mixed blessing because I know that all that is done to truncate the we agenda, is working in our favour. Today suspected members of the opposition tried to disrupt our campaign train, and today in the same Etche, we had the most resounding welcome. The will of the people cannot be broken by thuggery; eventually the oppressed will speak up and the people will vote their own leader, not someone forced on them.
Our roadshow through Etche was disrupted by some hoodlums, there were gunshots, bottles and rocks were hurled at my car and others in my convoy. An APC group that had already been attacked just two poles ahead of my campaign train, confirmed the group as suspected PDP thugs. About two people had been injured from their team, and I saw a situation that could have escalated to a blood bath and so I advised my team not to shoot as we turned around and redirected our campaign train.
I wasn’t really concerned with threat on my life, instead my heart was broken for the youths of Rivers State. How can we have youths who would rather mortgage their future just to be tools by people who do not care about their lives. I saw young people risking their lives simply because they have been nudged to do so, a people conditioned by poverty, one that have been exploited for gain by those who rather employ thugs to disrupt campaigns than play fair in the coming elections.
I called the Commisioner of Police several times as the attack was going on to no avail, and I also left him a message. We have the legal rights to campaign in our state without any form of harassments by political thugs.Rivers State belongs to us all, and we have the right to speak to our people and demand their support and votes, thus, no part of the state is the exclusive sovereign of the ruling party.
I have proof of this position as my campaign roadshow has driven through several communities in our dear state, and I have confirmed that people would rather fall over themselves to get an Accord face-cap, than take money from anybody. When people get out of their vehicles, both drivers and passengers all chasing the campaign train just to get a face-cap, that there is proof of a people who want to identify with you.
What we saw those thugs do at Igbo-Etche doesn’t deter me, instead it fuels me up the more. Those boys would certainly choose a life scenario where they own their businesses and are wealthy if they had the chance to, but it is sad that they have not been given enough legal avenues to prosper. However what I saw at Ndashi gave me even more gusto to run the race to take the Brickhouse this year.
I was comforted by a 9 year olds’ show of courage and intelligence. When I heard him speak so fluently and with dexterous command of the English language, I saw the future of the people of Etche captured in the destiny of the young boy. I had to make him a scholarship commitment to any level of study because he could be the next governor or president of Nigeria, and the more opportunities he is afforded, the more the possibilities.
Any path the DLB Guber campaign train takes, the people run out with so much joy. Etche poured out their love on me today.
Thank you Etche, and all I have is Love for Etche, and this I have shown over the years.
This time ETCHE, Stand with Me and I will surely do more.
State Publicity Secretary,