Ogoni Stakeholders Forum (OSF) in the United States of America, the family of slain environmental rights activist, Ken Saro Wiwa and Chief Solomon Ndigbara have hailed the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for choosing Hon Dakuku Peterside as its consensus governorship candidate.
The Ogonis in US in statement signed by their spokesperson, Mr. TamBari Lebee, released in Washington DC, said they were irritated at the rented numbers of Ogoni people who took to the streets in Port Harcourt on Thursday, 27th November, 2014 to protest the endorsement of Hon. Dakuku Peterside, as the governorship candidate of the APC. The group stated in clear term that “Dakuku Peterside is a full flesh Ogoni man’ by all ramification.
“Dakuku Peterside, originally from Opobo lived in Bori from his teen until the day he got admission into Rivers State University of Science and Technology. He has always returned to Bori as his home when school closed. In Bori, he is popularly known as Dagogo not Dakuku. His mother and two sisters are well known as Ogoni women. Hon. Peterside now in his 40s, celebrated his 10th, 20th and 30th birthday in Bori, making him a more Ogoni man than an Ogoni man who live all his life in Port Harcourt. Among many streets he lived on in Bori were former TTC now Poly, Taabaa road and Court road among others.
“He has more Ogoni friends than Opobo and spent more Christmas in Bane (the house of the Wiwas) than in Opobo.
“The choice of Hon. Peterside on Wednesday, 26th November, 2014 as the APC governorship candidate in Rivers State ahead of the governorship election next year in the state, is the best thing that happened to Ogoni people. Among any Ogoni politician out there, Hon Peterside is the only politician that has roll out developmental projects to Ogoni while he was the Commissioner for Works in Rivers State. He is responsible for all the tarred roads in Bori, the electrification of many villages of Ogoni under Amaechi’s administration.
“The lawmaker currently representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives who emerged as the party’s consensus governorship candidate during a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday, 26th November, 2014 will not only turn Ogoni around in terms of development but shall hand over to an Ogoni man after eight years. Opobo is very small; all the development shall be channel to Ogoni which nurtured him from his teen to adulthood.
“We are therefore urging all Ogonis to embrace his candidacy and vote him in as governor. From all indication, he may be the only optimism available to Ogonis now. We also sympathize with the helpless Ogonis who were either deceived or rented to break the law and eventually confronted the security agents on Thursday, 27th November, 2014. Ogonis are peaceful people, and need to learn not to be used and abandon by appalling politician who are merely singing their personal interest”.
Similarly, the prominent Wiwa family of Bane has come out to hail the emergence of Dr. Dakuku Peterside as the endorsed APC governorship candidate for the 2015 general elections in Rivers State.
In a release made available to the media early Friday, 28th November, 2014 and signed by Chief Loveday Wiwa and Elder Harry Wiwa, both prominent scions of the Wiwa family; expressed great excitement at the news of the endorsement of Dr. Peterside as APC’s candidate for governorship election in Rivers State in the 2015 elections.
The statement read in parts: “We find it hard to contain our overwhelming excitement at the good news that Dr. Dakuku Peterside is on his way to becoming the governor of Rivers State; we are truly elated and give thanks to God Almighty.”
Continuing, the statement added that Dr. Peterside who spent some of his early years in the Wiwa family is still seen as a member of the family till date.
“Our happiness knows no bound because Dakuku spent most of December holidays in the Wiwa family house at Bane. But more than anything else, Dakuku’s association with our family made him to actively identify with the Ogoni struggle led by our great legend, late Kenule Saro-Wiwa,” the statement revealed.
The family called on all Ogonis to see the emergence of Dakuku Peterside as the enthronement of one of their own because he shares the vision and purpose of the Ogonis and would secure the interests and aspirations of the Ogonis more than anyone else.
“We believe that Dakuku Peterside will bring development to Ogoniland given that as Commissioner for Works, he conceptualised and supervised the construction of Bori internal roads which has given the ancient town a huge facelift,” the statement concluded.
In the same vein, Chief Solomon Ndigbara, former Niger Delta freedom fighter and agitator, has commended the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State for choosing an original Ogoni, Dr. Dakuku Peterside as its flag bearer.
A press statement signed by Hon. Sorbari Gbakayeghe, press assistant to Chief Solomon Ndigbara, said: “The APC by this action has shown that it is sensitive to the yearnings and desires of the Ogoni people”.
Chief Ndigbara described Dr. Dakuku Peterside as a true son and friend of Ogoni land who not only grew up in Ogoni land but was involved in the MOSOP struggle through his relationship with the Wiwa family where he is regarded as a part of the family.
Peterside, he recalled, reconstructed all the roads in Bori town, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni land, an impact that has surpassed that of other Ogoni sons who held a similar position in government.
He assured all Rivers people that Ogoni people are solidly behind their own son, Hon. Peterside.