By Idaimi Peace

Buguma headquarters of Asari Toru Local Government area of Rivers state practically stood still last Saturday as Kengema Unity Forum, a frontline Kalabari socio-cultural organization held a massive rally in support of Rivers state Governorship aspirant of the Peoples' Democratic Party, (PDP) Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike - at the expansive arena of Kalabari National College, during the formal declaration and officially adoption ceremony.

The rally which had in attendance, Nigeria's Sports Minister, Hon. Tammy Danagogo, Rivers PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, PDP Chieftain, Elemchukwu Ogbowu, two former Commissioners, Hon. Osinah Ginah and Dr. Emi Membere Otaji, also had in attendance, Rivers Youth Movement President, Richard Alete, President ASALGA New Alliance, Alabo George Kelly among other PDP stakeholders and supporters.

In his eagerly awaited speech to the people, the leader and founder of Kengema Unity Forum and political bulldozer of Kalabari politics, Sobomabo Jackrich (a.k.a Egberipapa) said KUF and NDDGG's decision to officially declare and adopt Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike could be likened to the popular saying that man proposes and God disposes'. He reminded the crowd that the initial objective of the group was to ensure that a Kalabari person emerges as governor but noted that Wike's emergence is the handiwork of God.

He described Wike as a leader that is accessible and reachable saying this is an attribute of a good leader. The KUF and NDDGG founder also disclosed that the decision of the Rivers PDP Guber aspirant to opt for a Kalabari daughter as his running mate was also instrumental to the decision of the group to throw her weight behind him. According to him, the option of Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Banigo was a clear indication that the Rivers PDP Guber aspirant has the plight of the Kalabari people at heart. Most importantly he explained that Wike emerged as the flag bearer of the party through one of the most transparent primaries ever conducted in the state, hence he argued there was no reason to continue to fight against the interest of the party as no individual interest overwhelms the collective party interest.

He assured the delegation that Kalabaris with the instrumentality of the Kengema Unity Forum shall surely deliver Chief Barr Nyesome Wike for Governor and President Goodluck Jonathan as president. He noted that President Jonathan's transformation agenda has brought about sweeping changes in far reaching sectors of the Nigeria economy and maintained that the best we can do for him is to vote him to consolidate on the successes he has been able to institute in the past years. Finally he urged the PDP delegation to convey to the Guber aspirant to remain firm in his promise to carry the Kalabari people along in the scheme of things when he assumes power, adding that by so doing people a lot of people will be employed.

As early as 8am on Saturday the euphoric atmosphere of Kalabari National College arena was packed full with thousands KUF and NDDGG excited supporters chanting solidarity songs in support of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). The atmosphere can best be described as the gathering of who-is-who in Kalabari and the Rivers state PDP.

Speaking to the mammoth crowd representative of Chief Nyesom Wike and Nigeria's Minister of Sports, Hon. Tammy Danagogo said the Peoples' Democratic Party remains the only party that is capable of giving the Kalabari people a sense of belonging in the politics of the state.

He said APC under Gov. Amaechi has shown its insincerity to the Kalabari people following its failure to fulfill its various promises. He urged them to support the Wike candidature who has demonstrated his willingness to carry the Kalabaris along in the scheme of things with the appointment of Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Banigo as his running mate. The Minister also enumerated some of the achievements of President Jonathan calling for resounding support for his re-election bid.

Danagogo commended KUF for putting together the massive rally in adoption of Wike for Governor, he assured them that the PDP guber aspirant will not let Kalabaris or Rivers people down as Governor, urging all and sundry to put their weight behind Wike and the Jonathan candidacy.

Others who spoke and commended the KUF/NDDGG leader, General Sobomabo Jackrich's effort in mobilizing a massive support for PDP across the 23 LGA's of the state and beyond include, the Rivers state chairman of the Peoples' Democratic Party, Chief Felix Obuah who assured the KUF and the kalabari people that the party will not allow their effort to go in vain. Others in attendance include the PDP aspirant for Akuku Toru/asari toru constituency, Boma Goodhead, leaders of the KUF/NDDGG in the 23 LGA's of the state among others.