Governor-elect of River State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that the outgoing governor, Nyesom Wike, will be leaving a very big shoe for him adding that he will need lots of stockings to fit into the shoe.
As he spoke in thanksgiving to the Rivers people for the mandate handed over to him, Wike said the State has once again reasserted itself as a premier stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Wike noted that despite the evil machination of the opposition, the PDP has consistently won all the governorship elections in the State since 2015.
Speaking shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Fubara as the winner of the 2023 governorship election on Monday night, Wike expressed confidence that Fubara would lead the State well.
Fubara, the PDP candidate, polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Patrick Tonye-Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who had 95,274 votes. The Social Democratic Party candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, came a distant third with 46,981.
The Rivers State governor, who was visibly happy by the Fubara’s resounding victory, told PDP leaders at the Government House, Port Harcourt, that the State will continue to remain pivotal to the successes of the PDP.
“Whom God has blessed, no one can curse. There is nothing anyone can do about it. God has said Siminalayi Fubara will be the next governor, and we give God the glory today that that has happened.
“We won 23 local governments, 23 over 23. It has never happened. Out of the 32 State constituencies, we have won 31; it is the remaining one that they said we would go for a bye-election. We are ready, and we will take that one. “So, we have said to anybody who cares; Rivers State is PDP. When you annoy us, we do another thing. We showed it when we wanted to vote for the country’s unity. We didn’t do anti-party, but we voted for the unity of the country, and that is what we did for one Nigeria.”
Governor Wike, who dedicated the electoral victories of the PDP in the just concluded general elections to almighty God and the people of Rivers State, commended party stalwarts for remaining steadfast in defence of the State since he assumed office in 2015.
“Let me thank all of you for the support you have given us, how you stood firm to ensure that we defend what Rivers State is. In 2015, we did it; in 2019, we did it; and in 2023, we have done it again. So, it is not surprising God has always been with us.”
Governor Wike said he would remain eternally grateful to God because when he first contested for the office of governor in 2015, his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, was the incumbent and was antagonistic to his political aspiration. While mocking his predecessor for resorting to divisive politicking during the electioneering period, the governor said the resounding victory of the PDP has further diminished his political relevance in Rivers State.
“When we came out in 2015, we were not in government. There was a governor (Amaechi) then in 2015. He was the Director General (DG) of the Muhammadu Buhari campaign.
However, Governor Wike has cautioned PDP members not to be complacent because the opposition he likened to “enemies” are still prowling around.
In his acceptance speech, the governor-elect, Sir Fubara, who was accompanied by his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu, thanked God for his electoral victory and assured that his administration would consolidate on Wike’s New Rivers Vision.
“We are going to work with everybody who believes in the New Rivers Vision to continue to build better lives, good services, protection of the dignity of every Rivers man and woman, protection of the integrity of this State in all phases, and to make sure that we continue to defend our party in this State.
“Our vision is simple; it is anchored on the New Rivers Vision. We are to continue, to improve and to develop more on it. I want to thank the leadership of the party and the good people of Rivers State who believed in the New Rivers Vision and ensured that the vision is the right vision.