By Cletus Opukeme, Warri
National President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, Barr. Eric Omare has said that it is the turn of the Ijaws in Rivers state to produce the governor in Rivers state comes 2023 and that Wike should not create tension in the state with his personal and selfish political interest over whom succeeds him.
Omare in a press statement while reacting to a statement credited to the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike during a reception held in his honour by the Ikwerre Ethnic nationality of Rivers State which says he to would support any Rivers indigene from any of the ethnic Nationalities of the state with capacity to become the Governor of the State in 2023.
Omare noted that Wike was playing on the patience and intelligence of the entire Ijaws in Rivers state by asserting that any particular section of the state could produce the Governor of the state in 2023.
His words, ‘’While we agree with Governor Wike that capacity to govern is a paramount consideration in choosing who should become Governor of a state, however we completely disagree with Governor Wike that the person can come from any of the ethnic Nationalities of the state. The statement is insensitive to the ethnic diversity of Rivers state and a deliberate effort by Governor Wike to laid the foundation for someone from his Ikwerre ethnic nationality or upland part of Rivers State to succeed him.
‘‘It must be noted that just like Nigeria as a country and most states of the country, Rivers State is made up of different ethnic groups with a clear distinction between riverine and upland parts of the state. The implication of the foregoing is that in the governance of the state, this distinction between riverine and upland must be taken into account in all decisions including choosing who should become the Governor. In the case of Rivers State, from 1999 till date, the Governorship of the state has been in the hands of the upland part of the State from Governor Peter Odili, Governor Amaechi to Governor Wike. In short, the Ikwerre ethnic nationality which Amaechi and Wike hails from by 2023 would have governed the multi ethnic Rivers State for an unbroken 16 years. This is unfair and completely unacceptable to the Ijaw people and should be rejected by all men of conscience all over the country.’’ He stated.
Continuing, ‘‘We agree with Governor Wike that whoever want to become Governor would need the support of all ethnic Nationalities of the state. However, this is not a basis to allow a particulr section of Rivers State dominate other parts of the state. It is our view that just as other ethnic Nationalities of Rivers State supported Governors from the upland part of Rivers State, let the rest of the state support a Governor from the riverine part of the State in 2023.
‘‘There is no part of Rivers State that has monopoly of competent people. There are alot of competent people from the riverine part of Rivers State who can be Governor of Rivers State.
Therefore, the IYC call on Governor Wike and other critical stakeholders in the politics of Rivers State to support a Rivers Ijaw to become the Governor of Rivers State in 2023 in the interest of fairness and to give a sense of belonging to all parts of the State.’’ The statement added.