From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Rivers State, Bernard Mikko, has rubbished the argument that the party’s ticket for 2023 should be zoned to the riverine area.
Bernard, who spoke in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the argument lacked sincerity and credibility because the entire state is riverine and no part should be categorised as more riverine than the other.
Mikko, who once represented the Gokana-Khana Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, said the fact that the state was christened Rivers explained his position that the entire state is riverine.
He, however, said that if any part of the state should be considered for the party’s ticket, the Ogoni ethnic nationality ranked first because it remained the most politically marginalised area of Rivers.
He said: “Every area in Rivers State is a riverine area and the areas referred to as riverine areas are equally accessible by road.
“If the issue of zoning in the party must be promoted according to the party’s constitutions, then, it is only fair to zone it to the Ogoni people of the South-East councils as they have been sidelined for so long since the 1999 elections.”
Mikko further said among all the aspirants vying for the ticket of the party, he was the only one that built his wealth outside the government.
He said his entrepreneurship skills contributed immensely in building his business empire promising to promote such skills in the state if given the opportunity to govern the state.
He said his governorship ambition was inspired by his passion to tackle different levels of insecurity in the state.
Mikko said: “We have insecurity of lives and property. No job security, our youth have no job security. We have gas and other natural resources that we can use to make life better.
“But, this insecurity has created a kind of inequality, where most people get these resources for themselves and abandon the rest. They only go back to the people during elections”.
He implored the APC delegates and people of Rivers to choose a candidate based on credibility, capacity and not on godfatherism.
“I am the only independent Rivers man contesting on the platform of APC who is not playing second fiddle to anyone and who did not build his wealth leeching off the government unlike some other candidates.”