Home Spotlight The Agitation For Ijaw/Riverine Governorship: Who Is To Benefit?

The Agitation For Ijaw/Riverine Governorship: Who Is To Benefit?

by Anita Ogona


In this Spotlight with Marshall Israel” he bares it all,

Marshall Israel is the current Rivers State Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission. PCC.

‘’Some of the Riverine Ijaw Chiefs, elders and Youth supporting Wike will have themselves to blame in the future. They are speaking conveniently for today. Politics is dynamic and nothing is permanent.

If you know what it means for an ethic group to produce governor for sixteen straight years, then you will understand the position of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in making sure Power goes to the Riverine Ijaw via rotation. The ethnic group would produce enough human and material capacity to make and unmake anybody politically unless Nature intervenes. As it stands in Rivers State, no ethnic group can produce the governor of Rivers State without the support of Ikwerre ethnic Nationality.

Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the leaders of APC saw the implication of this and zoned governorship in 2015 to the Riverine Ijaw for equity, fairness and Justice. Consequently, Dr. Dakuku Peterside emerged as the candidate of APC in 2015. The battle against Amaechi and APC before and during the 2015 was More intense in the Riverine and led by Mrs. Patience Jonathan, supposed Ijaw woman from Okirika. Before and during the 2015 election, we recorded more deaths in Ijaw land than in any other ethnic group in Rivers State. Dakuku Peterside, an Ijaw son contesting for governorship and the leaders of APC escaped death in Okirika during the Campaign. Every apparatus of government including militants were deployed. The REC, (INEC Resident Electoral Commission) Gesila Khan, a supposed Ijaw woman from Bayelsa State perfected the rigging that installed Wike as governor in 2015. To them, it was Amaechi that lost.

In 2019, Amaechi and the leaders of APC maintained that Power must rotate. Tonye Cole, an Ijaw son from Kalabari ethnic Nationality emerged as the candidate of APC. But due to litigations and counter litigations occasioned by the internal crisis within the APC, the court ruled that APC does not have candidates and Tonye Cole was stopped. Recall that Wike, supported by his allies in the Ijaw/Riverine were also in Court against the APC and her candidates. They jubilated and to them Amaechi has lost again.

Ordinarily, Amaechi would have relaxed after the Court ruling against the APC candidates. But to Amaechi and his allies, it doesn’t matter the party that produces the next governor of Rivers State so far Power rotates to the Riverine Ijaw axis. Not just Amaechi alone, the courage and commitment of some of our Ikwere brothers who are in the same line with Amaechi that Power must rotate deserve some commendation especially in Obio/Apkor LGA.

Two days to the 2019 governorship election, Amaechi and the leaders of APC adopted AAC and her candidate Eng. AWARA from Kalabari ethnic Nationality. Amaechi subsequently mobilized his allies and support base for AAC and Eng. AWARA. On the eve of the election and on the election day, everyone knows the shooting and killings that happened in Buguma and Okirika to the point that a Lieutenant of the Nigerian Army was killed. It was a Theater of war.  Mowan Etete and his brother from Andoni LGA were killed. Andoni LGA is in the Riverine.

People believed that Eng. AWARA of the AAC was leading before INEC suspended collation. Well, I am not God and I don’t know what will happen next. But if INEC declares Wike as the winner of the 2019 governorship election, the upland axis of Rivers State would have been governor for twenty-four straight years with Ikwerre ruling for Sixteen straight years.

The question is, judging by the circumstances on ground, will it be right to accuse Amaechi of Playing Ikwerre agenda? And “if” Wike is declared the Winner and he decides with his allies using the State apparatus and funds to retain Power in the upland or in Ikwerre South or North in 2023, will it be right to accuse Wike of playing Ikwerre agenda? Let our consciences and time be the judge.

Marshall Israel is writing from Port Harcourt.

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