A group of concerned citizens of Rivers State under the auspices of CC-23, has demanded that the successor to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in 2023, should come from the riverine axis of the state abc not from Ogoni ethnic nationality.
Recall that an elder statesman, Senator Bennett Birabi, had last week called on the the major political parties in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their governorship position to the Ogoni Ethnic nationality, considering the fact the area has never produced a governor in the history of Rivers State.
But, addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, spokesman of the group, Hon. Ken Robinson, said the Ogoni ethnic nationality is part of the upland axis of the state that has been in the governorship position since 1999.
Robinson said: “In Rivers State, the founding fathers took cognizance of the upland and riverine arrangements as a natural political divide in the state. Though some political stakeholders have struggled to dispute the classification, it had remained evident and respected in the state’s political progression.
“The issue of riverine and upland is like Nigeria’s political distinction of “North and South” that cannot be wished away even with the structural creation of six geopolitical zones.
“Consequently, even as we seek to de-emphasize our diversity, it should be noted that this political reality has sustained peace and unity in Rivers State. To ignore it is to perpetuate injustice, increase tension and agitation, and exacerbate distrust and acrimony in the state.”
He called on all political leaders and stakeholders to support the riverine axis of the state to occupy the position of governor in 2023, describing the appeal as just, equitable, fair and reasonable thing to do.
The CC-23 spokesman said: “We, therefore appeal that the Riverine Ijaw sections should be supported by all political leaders and stakeholders, the entire people of Rivers State and indeed, friends of the state, to occupy the position of governor after Governor Nyesom Wike’s tenure in 2023. This is just, equitable, fair and reasonable thing to do,if we are to allow our conscience to rule out desires.
“Rivers State is made up of several ethnic bloc grouped by reason of language and culture into upland and riverine. It is only natural and fitting for power to be shared amongst these groups for fairness and equity, to sustain the confidence of Rivers people that their state is an egalitarian and democratic society.”