TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Former Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Austin Opara, has challenged Rivers sons and daughters holding various sensitive positions at the centre to use such positions to attract development to the state.
Opara threw the challenge while addressing the State Executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who paid him a visit at his residence in Port Harcourt.
The former lawmaker regretted that rather than attract a project to the state, they were busy painting the state in bad light in order to scare away investors.
He said Rivers people were happy and proud to identify with Governor Nyesom Wike because of what he is doing in the state, insisting that there is no local government area in Rivers that did not have a project under the present administration.
Opara said: “We have our sons and daughters holding positions at the centre, at the right time they will present their score cards”.
He reminded the new PDP chairman and other members of his executive that the positions they are holding demand greater responsibility to the party.
The PDP chieftain stressed that Rivers people would not expect anything less than to maintain the standard already attained by their predecessors or surpass it.
“Today, Rivers State is 100 percent PDP. If under your watch, it becomes 99 percent, then, you have failed”, Opara stated.
He also advised the party’s new executive to go all out to bring those who want to come back to the PDP, emphasising that this should be seen as their primary responsibility.
Opara assured the party officials of his support to enable them deliver on their mandate and congratulated them on their successful election.
Earlier, the chairman of PDP, Rivers State, Desmond Akawor, had told the former lawmaker that they were at his residence to thank him for his support during the congress that brought them to office.
Akawor explained that their role as party executive demands greater responsibility and hard work, which could only succeed with the support, advice and assistance from elders like Opara.
He said: “You have been in this process of managing the nation; at some point, you were presiding over the National Assembly. It is a greater task and so, you have a bigger picture of what politics is all about”.
The party’s chairman expressed the belief that with faces such as those of the former lawmaker and other elders of the party, the task of reconciliation which the executive plans to initiate would be much easier.
He also disclosed that they would want to consult with elders of the party on how to make the forthcoming primaries for local government election in the state rancour-free and thanked Opara for the warm reception accorded them.