Former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chibudom Nwuche has endorsed the recent peace initiative between the Presidency and leaders of the Niger Delta region led by first republic minister, Chief Edwin Clark.
The chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who hails from Ekpeye, Rivers State, believed the step would restore peace to and engender development in the oil-bearing region, if carried to a logical conclusion. To make that possible, he appealed to restive youths in the region to embrace dialogue and desist from pipeline vandalism.
Nwuche also reviewed the recent legislative rerun election in Rivers and gave the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies a pass mark.
Below is the full interview.
Rivers is a presumed PDP stronghold, but your party, the APC appears to have done well in the last rerun election. What has changed?
The APC has always had tremendous support amongst the masses in Rivers State because many of the leaders in the party had impacted positively the lives of the average Rivers man, especially their constituents. Some leaders were members and speakers of the state Assembly, others were members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; and some were even deputy speakers of the House of Representatives.
How can all these people not have followership that will translate to electoral votes? No state can be rightly described as a fortress for any particular political party; it depends on the leadership of the opposing party and if they are prepared to admit leaders with followership. APC, besides the strength of their original leaders, have also admitted new leaders and therefore grounded in Rivers State. The success recorded in the polls is, therefore, not surprising to me.
Also, the heavy security presence enabled our supporters to come out en masse to vote as opposed to the past elections where they were intimidated and many murdered in cold blood. Many of us spoke up and urged the Federal Government to secure the lives of our people. I am happy the Federal Government is now addressing the security situation more aggressively. The law enforcement agencies are not only more focused but appeared to understand the sophisticated and organized crime pattern better.