(By Iheanyi Ezinwo) – In the last couple of days, Notable Outcome, distinct and worth reading global newspaper has been looking at Rivers politicians, across party lines, who have chances of succeeding Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in 2023. Barr. Wike cannot re-contest for the office again because he is on his second and last term in office.
We had listed some names in the first publication, and followed with brief expose on the opportunities, strenghts and weaknesses of the incumbent Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr (Mrs.) Ipalibo Banigo-Harry. She was of the Peoples Democratic Party. In this edition, we are focusing on Engr. Sampson Ngerebara of the All Progressives Congress.
Engr. Sampson Ngerebara is from Andoni. He was born in 1960 , and trained as an Electrical Engineer at University of Port Harcourt. At the university, the young Ngerebara was also a student activist, rising to become President of the Student Union at University of Port Harcourt in the early 80s. Ngerebara, an orator, is the Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer at Intedeco Nigeria Limited, a company that has interests in manufacturing, electrical engineering and related businesses. Over the years, he had used the business platform to provide employment for many, and tutelage to others to start their own businesses.
During the brief administration of Chief Ada George as governor of Rivers State (1992-1993), Engr. Sampson Ngeribara served as commissioner for works. He was favoured by the dynamics of the time, and many believe that the amiable engineer would have recorded more political milestones had that administration ran its full course.
Since the return of democracy in 1999, the Andoni born politician had made unsuccessful attempts, at different times, to become governor of Rivers State. Should he be favoured by the leadership of APC in Rivers State to fly the party’s governorship flag in the next governorship election, our respondents believe he has the temperament, integrity, experience and goodwill to win election.
Those who spoke with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt were of the view that 2023 might be Ngeribara’s time, ceteris paribus. He was widely described as trust worthy: a fit and proper person, for any serious responsibility, including that of presiding over the affairs of Rivers State as governor.
Our findings further showed that he could be the next governor of Rivers State if his party, the All Progressives Congress, is able to put their acts together and forge a common front in the run up to 2023. This will also depend on the quality of his opponent from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the circumstances of his emergence.
Ngeribara is said to be level headed, focused and courageous. He is said to be a team player and enjoys tremendous goodwill across the state. The engineer and proud son of Ijaw ethnic nationality in Rivers State, does not require tutelage in politics and governance; he has garnered, over the years, political and business experiences required to take Rivers State to greater heights.
On his perceived weaknesses, our respondents drew attention to the fact that Ngeribara comes from Andoni, the same local government area as Prince Uche Secondus, the current national chairman of the PDP. The meaning is that his political battle will start from home. While it is believed that the Secondus challenge is surmountable, there were indications that the contest will be fiercer for Ngeribara if the PDP has a candidate from the Kalabari axis of the state. Be that as it may, at the end of the day, it is the more acceptable, organized and smarter side that will have a higher chance of winning the key to the Rivers State Government House in 2023.
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