South-south Group Endorses Atiku/Okowa Presidency

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A group under the platform of South South Ethnic Nationalities Assembly (SSENA) has endorsed former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for president and vice president respectively in the forthcoming presidential election.

The National Coordinator of SSENA, Chief Favour Izoukumor, at a press conference over the weekend, said the group arrived at its position after reviewing the benefits the region would gain under Atiku/Okowa’s administration if eventually elected to the topmost positions in the country.

He recalled that the South South witnessed tremendous development under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the advent of the fourth republic with the establishments of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); 13 per cent derivation fund to oil producing Niger Delta and Maritime University, Okerenkoko and many others.

Izoukumor, who was flanked by leaders of the ethnic nationalities from across the South South, also recalled the establishment of Ministry of Niger Delta, Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun and Federal University of Otuoke in Bayelsa State saying the institutions and their policies were geared towards the development of the region.

“Worthy of note is how the PDP considered the South South region in the equation of Nigeria politics by making a minority ethnic nationality, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Vice President and subsequent President of Nigeria.

“It was the highest political office attained by a minority from the South South,” Izoukumor said adding, “we are now in 2023 and the PDP has again demonstrated it’s ‘organicness’ and love for the minority groups by picking Senator Ifeanyi Okowa from Delta State as the Vice Presidential candidate.

“Okowa symbolises a bridge between the South South and South East. His adoption by the party was borne out of his sterling performance as governor of Delta State,” he said.

Izoukumor also noted that Atiku’s wealth of experience in both private and public sectors gives him an edge over rival candidates in the 2023 elections hence their support for his candidature.

“Atiku promised to restructure Nigeria if elected president. We must recall that the critical demands of the people of Niger Delta over the decades of marginalisation have been restructuring and resource control.

“We are aware that of all the candidates and political parties, only PDP’s Atiku has categorically promised Nigerians restructuring and resource control. We believe that this will bring peace and transform the Nigerian economy as it will galvanise all regions to explore their options and available resources for their growth and better lives of their citizens,” he said.

A leader of SSENA, Chief Patrick Fregene disclosed that the group, which is made up of various regional groups, community leaders, activists, captain of industries and students, was formed by the need to promote dialogue and cooperation between ethnic nationalities and all stakeholders towards addressing challenges facing the people of the region.

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