The Rivers State Governorship flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has said that the choice of Dr. Mrs. Patricia Wudhiga Ogbonnaya as his deputy is a big boost to the party, given her pedigree and administrative sagacity.
Abe who declared this while unveiling the deputy governorship candidate on Saturday, said ever since the former Permanent Secretary in the Rivers State Civil Service joined the SDP train, the party has been illuminated.
He told the massive crowd which attended the event at Dana Event Centre, GRA, Port Harcourt, that when the history of the Rivers State is written, his running mate would occupy a pride of place because of her level of contribution to the development of the state.
His words, “We were not necessarily looking for a woman. We needed someone who would add value to the ticket, someone who have knowledge and integrity, who will stand for me when I’m not around”.
The distinguished Senator said the party rather than handpick anybody, decided to meet the people to give them a leader, adding that wherever they went to in both Ahoada East and West, the name of his running mate continued to resonate.
“We looked through her records, and what we saw confirmed that we made the right choice”, he said.
Still on the choice of Ogbonnaya who hails from Joinkarama in Ahoada West Local Government Area, Abe said, “We won’t go to Kalabari as there’s nothing new to add.
“We won’t go to Okrika either, given the proximity to Ogoni. We just have to create a distance from where the governor comes from, that’s why we went to Engeni”.
Senator Abe lashed at the riverine, upland categorisation in the state, saying the divide has killed the people’s identities by ‘justifying what should not be justified’.
“There are many groups that are missing out of the equation in the name of upland, riverine. We should call each other by their names”, he said.
The Deputy Guber candidate, Patricia Ogbonnaya in her acceptance speech, described the emergence of Senator Abe, as the best thing to happen to Rivers State.
“It’s not by mistake that you called your Secretariat, ‘Freedom House’. Every man and woman in the state is yearning for freedom”, she said.
Dr. Mrs. Ogbonnaya stated that God knew why he allowed Abe to begin his political journey as Minority Leader in the State Assembly.
Her words: “God knows that Abe would be governor of Rivers State, He trained him to champion the cause of the minority. God does not work with numbers, and today the minorities are being oppressed and Abe is equipped to take them to the promise Land”.
Senator Abe also announced that Senator Wilson Ake would lead the onslaught of the SDP as the Director General of the campaign organization.
Ake, a younger brother of late Chief Godspower U. Ake, hails from Erema in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state.
Abe said Ake, a tested war horse, would no doubt add value to the effort of the SDP to snatch the State from the PDP.
Many party chieftains who delivered goodwill messages, poured encomiums on Senator Abe and his deputy, Ogbonnaya, saying they were round pegs in a round hole.