AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
President Muhammadu Buhari’s election is programmed to suffer a huge blow in the Niger Delta region as a former die-hard ally, Israel Eshanekpe, also known as Akpodoro, has moved his over 500,000 youth supporters and Ex-militants across the nine Niger Delta states into the political camp of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Akpodoro, who, in the run up to the 2015 presidential elections, spent his huge resources to comb the nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta to ensure the victory of President Buhari in the election, was abandoned by Buhari despite his repeated appeals to the president to recognize his contributions towards his emergence as president.
Akpodoro, who leads a retinue of former militants and thousands of youths in the nine states, is poised to employ all his energies to pull the youths, the Ex-militants of the region and others for the PDP presidential candidate and others to ensure the party wins massively in the oil-rich region.
In a statement made available to Emeraldng.com, Akpodoro said he has waved bye bye to Buhari’s next level campaign and embraced the camp of Atiku with the conviction that the PDP has the answer to the pressing needs of the volatile region.
Akpodoro was appointed the zonal coordinator of the Youth and support groups by the Special Adviser to Atiku Abubakar and has activated his campaign machinery for the election of Atiku and other PDP candidates in the South South region.
President of National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, Akpodoro is heavily ready to run an aggressive campaign strategy for the election of Atiku and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, insisting that with his 500,000 followers drawn from the youth population of the region and the body of Ex-militants, there is the assurance that the PDP is coasting to victory in the region.
He said the PDP government will change the misfortune of the people for the better, adding that the people of the region are ready to vote out the failed APC led government in the country and replace it with the PDP government which has the programme to better the life of all Nigerians.
He added that Atiku’s presidency will ensure total development of the region in the area of human and material resources, noting that the campaign train is already on the move to comb all parts of the region to mobilize for Atiku to win with a landslide victory.
Speaking on his support for Governor Okowa, Akpodoro said Okowa deserved “even much more than a second term in office”, citing his impressive developmental initiatives in less than four years in office.
He said equity based on zoning must be respected, noting that besides, Okowa had done better than his predecessors in terms of achievements, honesty, and sincerity of purpose.
Akpodoro added that no government in the state’s history had taken such huge steps in infrastructural, human and material development, as this administration is selflessly doing.
He said Okowa, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) had given appointments to all without discrimination in his bid to drive an all-inclusive government, and give the people a sense of belonging.
He listed roads and bridges built by the administration across the three senatorial districts, which he noted, had massively changed the narrative.
The group noted that the Urhobo in Delta Central and Itsekiri in the southern district had their share of governance, adding that it would be reasonable those who served eight years each, support Delta North to do same.
Urhobo-born Ex-warlord, also coordinator of Urhobo Youth Forum for Change (UYFC), said the youth body had enough strength to drive the process of returning the Ika-born politician to the Government House.
Akpodoro said the body of youths shall be up against whoever wants to sabotage zoning, saying: “Okowa’s friends shall be our friends while his enemies shall be our enemies.”
He added that the group at the national level would work to enthrone Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and ex-Governor Peter Obi, to oust the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration.
He said Nigerians must rise up to end the regime of debilitating hunger in the land bequeathed on Nigerians by the ineptitude of the Buhari’s government.
He described Buhari to have failed woefully in the last four years, stressing that in the development of the Niger Delta, Buhari performed very abysmally, specifically, he said the East-West road never received any attention from Buhari.
Buhari, he said, should be preparing his handover note and begin packing his luggage to quit Aso Rock.