PRESS STATEMENT “I WILL NOT SUCCUMB TO DIVERSIONARY TACTICS OF OPPONENTS IN MY QUEST TO BECOME RIVERS STATE GOVERNOR, says DUMO LULU-BRIGGS

AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY CHIEF DUMO LULU-BRIGGS IN A MEDIA CHAT HELD IN PORT HARCOURT ON MARCH 1, 2019

Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you all to this very auspicious media chat which has become expedient following the ruling of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt on the matter of who flies the Rivers State governorship ticket of ACCORD.

This press chat is convened to state our position on the matter, set the records straight and clear the air of any doubts concerning who is the Rivers state Governorship candidate of the ACCORD.

Let me state without equivocation that I was the recognized and officially endorsed Rivers State governorship candidate of Accord both by the National Working Committee and leadership of the party and by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

My nomination as the Rivers state Governorship candidate of ACCORD, followed and met all established and recognized due processes as stipulated by the Electoral Act of Nigeria as amended and the Rules and Guidelines for the 2019 elections, as laid down by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
1. On September 28, 2018, I convened a world Press Conference, to formally announce my withdrawal from the governorship primaries of the Rivers State APC on the grounds that the processes for the conduct had not met the laid down democratic standards and guidelines stipulated in the party’s constitution.

2. Following the obvious and deliberate efforts to disenfranchise me and deny me the opportunity to seek the fulfilment of my legitimate ambition to become the Governor of Rivers State under the APC, I conscientiously opened intense and far-reaching consultation and negotiations with other political parties that share our vision of creating a better Rivers state and securing the future for every Rivers man, woman and child. I ultimately decided to join ACCORD.

3. A legitimate Primary election was conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC)/National Executive Committee (NEC) of ACCORD in Port Harcourt on 4/10/2018 during which one Hon. Nelson Amieye emerged as a consensus candidate and was duly nominated as the Rivers State Governorship Candidate of the ACCORD for the 2019 general elections.

4. Incidentally, Hon. Nelson Amieye, who was legitimately nominated as the Rivers state Governorship flag bearer of ACCORD and whose name was published by INEC on the 7th of November 2018, voluntarily withdrew from the governorship race, through a written affidavit, deposed by him and submitted to the NWC/NEC of the ACCORD.

5. Having successfully engaged in very robust and fruitful discussions with the ACCORD and received firm assurances from the leadership of the party that all their actions had followed proper due process in tandem with the electoral laws and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I willingly and graciously accepted the nomination of my new party as their River state Governorship Candidate, in line with the stipulated guidelines and the window of opportunity provided by INEC, for substitution of candidates, following the voluntary withdrawal of Hon. Nelson Amieye from the race.

6. The National Working Committee of ACCORD, having certified that all the processes for the substitution of candidates had been met and all documents properly certified, duly submitted my name and particulars to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the substantive Rivers State Governorship Candidate of ACCORD.

7. In accordance with the affirmation and endorsement of my nomination by the National Working Committee, NWC, of ACCORD as the Rivers State Governorship Candidate of the party, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC released the list of all Governorship Candidates in the states where elections were to be conducted and my name, DUMO OWUKORI LULU-BRIGGS, was boldly and clearly listed as the Rivers State Governorship candidate of ACCORD.

8. I was therefore surprised when I was informed in January 2019, that a certain Mr. Precious Baridoo had instituted legal action challenging my nomination as the Rivers state Governorship candidate of the ACCORD, on the grounds that the Party Primary that elected Hon. Nelson Amieye whom I substituted, was not recognized by him.

9. Furthermore, Precious Baridoo claimed that, as the Acting Rivers State Chairman of Accord, he had on 4th October 2018 conducted the state governorship primary election in which he was the sole contestant and had emerged as the Governorship candidate of ACCORD, unopposed.

10. Unfortunately, following Precious Baridoo’s legal adventure, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, yesterday, February 28, 2019, made a pronouncement that I, Dumo Lulu-Briggs was not the duly nominated Rivers state Governorship candidate of ACCORD for the 2019 Governorship election.

OUR POSITION
It is our considered position that Mr. Precious Baridoo is nothing but a willing tool in the hands of dubious and unprincipled politicians who are bent on scoring cheap psychological advantage a week to the governorship election. Precious Baridoo in all purposes and intent does not aspire to be Rivers State governor but to swell the ranks of political jobbers working for Governor Nyesom Wike. It is on record that:

1. Mr. Precious Baridoo did not participate in the party primaries conducted by the NWC/NEC of ACCORD on 4th October, 2018 as he claimed because the national executive of the party has stated loudly that Mr. Baridoo did not procure the expression of intent and the governorship nomination forms of the party.

2. There is also no proof that INEC issued Mr. Precious Baridoo with form CF001, which is the document given to officially nominated party candidates.

3. The national Executive of Accord had through its counsel stated unequivocally that the purported emergence of Mr. Precious Baridoo as governorship candidate is unknown to it as it did not conduct or authorize any such primary election in which Baridoo purportedly emerged.

4. The national executive of Accord has also stated that the legitimate governorship Primary election of the party in Rivers State was the one conducted by the NWC/NEC of ACCORD on 4/10/2018 in Port Harcourt and Mr. Precious Baridoo was neither an aspirant nor a participant in that Primary.

5. It is important at this juncture to state that our above positions were properly deposed to in an affidavit and submitted as part of our prayers to the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, when we were served with the notice on motion to this matter in January 2019.

CONCLUSION
1. We state in very strong terms, that we are aware that this case is another dubious shenanigan by Governor Nyesom Wike who is afraid to go into any legitimate contest in the forthcoming Rivers State Governorship elections and is doing everything possible, including sponsoring court cases against strong opponents in order to achieve his primitive ambition to contest the 2019 governorship election against himself alone.

2. Nyesom Wike’s connection in this dubious act is buttressed by the fact that Mr. Precious Baridoo’s counsel Wori N. Wori Esq is from the law firm of E.C. Aguma SAN, the deceased immediate past Attorney General to Nyesom Wike.

3. Furthermore, Mr. Precious Baridoo got elected as Rivers IPAC Chairman months after his purported nomination as Accord governorship candidate, a position known to be occupied only by the cronies of the governor.

4. We are at a loss to fathom how Precious Baridoo who claims to have resigned as Rivers State Accord Chairman to contest the October 4, 2018 governorship primaries could be elected a month after (in November 2018), as the State Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, a position reserved only for party chairmen. It is obvious that Precious Baridoo and his paymaster, Nyesom Wike are out to insult the intelligence of Rivers people.

5. Recently, during the PDP Presidential rally in Port Harcourt, Precious Baridoo did not only declare support for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, he led 56 so-called governorship candidates to step down for Governor Wike and endorsed him for a second term.

6. It is also on record that the said Precious Baridoo, who has since been disowned by the Accord National Working Committee, was appointed into the Caretaker Committee of Khana Local Government Area by the Wike-led PDP government.

7. In spite of these primitive tactics of Governor Nyesom Wike, I want to assure all our supporters and indeed all Rivers people that Dumo Lulu-Briggs is very much in the Rivers state Governorship race by the grace of God.

8. We are not deterred by the pronouncement of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt as our legal team has promptly filed a Notice of Appeal and a motion of Stay of Execution of the judgement of Justice E.A Obile.
9. As unfortunate as the court judgement was, it is a mere 24 hours setback as we are sure that the Court of Appeal will do justice and grant our stay of execution and finally set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.

10. My quest to liberate Rivers State from the shackles of wicked politicians who want to continue to punish and impoverish our men and women, instigate our youths into violence and bloodshed and deny our children quality education, is still on track. Dumo Lulu-Briggs is still in the race by the grace of God. I have no godfather but God the father and by the grace of God and the will of Rivers people, we shall triumph and start the process to secure the future of every Rivers Man, woman and child.

11. We urge Rivers peoples to be law abiding and continue to support Accord as a political party. God bless you all.

Yours Ceaselessly
Chief DUMO LULU-BRIGGS

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