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Rivers 2015: Ogonis, Etche, Ijaw Eye Governorship

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As the 2015 general elec
tions draw nearer, political atmosphere is getting charged with many ethnic nationalities in Rivers State justling for the governorship of the state.
A pressure group in Ogoni land, Ogoni Democratic Movement  (ODM) said at the weekend that the time was ripe for Ogonis to produce the next governor of the state.
Speaking during a courtesy visit on the president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People in the United States of America (MOSOP-USA), Mr Dumka Baabel at Atlanta-Georgia, USA, the President-General of ODM, Hon Godwin Bazari noted that since the creation of Rivers State in 1967, no indigene of Ogoni has governed as the executive governor, deputy governor, or even the speaker of the State House of Assembly.
“We all know that since the creation of Rivers State in 1967, no Ogoni person has been given the opportunity to be the executive governor of the state, deputy governor, or even the speaker of the State House of Assembly. The political marginalization of Ogonis has continued and it is time to appeal to other ethnic groups in the state to support the project,” the ODM President-General said.
Responding, President of MOSOP-USA, Mr. Dumka Baabel welcomed the ODM’s vision, saying, “MOSOP USA supports the Project 2015, which is a pet project of MOSOP Nigeria. We will work to ensure that major political parties in Nigeria nominate an Ogoni as standard bearer in the 2015 Rivers Governorship election.”
Meanwhile, the people of Etche ethnic nationality under the aegis of Etche Peoples Liberation Congress (EPLC) has also canvassed for the zoning of the governorship to Etche.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, recently, the congress said that the people of Etche would support any of their sons with governorship ambition in the state.
The leader of the group, Comrade Haphet Ogbueri, premised the group’s agitation on the contributions of the Etche ethnic nationality, comprising of Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas to the economy of the nation.
According to him, Etche has contributed over 300 billion dollars in more than 40 years of prolonged and uninterrupted oil exploration without commensurate development in terms of infrastructure, wealth creation and human empowerment.
“It is only Etche that has been discriminated against in federal appointments among contemporary oil producing ethnic groups.
“No Etche son or daughter has been captured in any of the 536 boards of ministries departments and agencies of federal government” he said.
In the same vein, the Ijaw Democratic Front (IDP) in Rivers State has called on the people of the state to support any person from Ijaw ethnic nationality as the next governor of the state.
Speaking through the coordinator of the group, Mr Robinson Kenneth in Port Harcourt, last week, the group noted that the Ijaw extraction which comprises Kalabari, Okrika, Andoni and other riverine ethnics nationalities has not produced a governor  since the creation of the state.
Mr Kenneth called on the leadership of all political parties in the state to field Ijaw persons as their candidates for the forthcoming governorship election schedule for February, 28, saying the gesture would bring about unity equity and justice in the state.

 

L-R: Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Mr Taiwo Alimi and former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande at the Yoruba Assembly meeting on 2014 National Conference in Ibadan, last  Thursday.Photo: NAN

L-R: Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Mr Taiwo Alimi and former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande at the Yoruba Assembly meeting on 2014 National Conference in Ibadan, last Thursday. Photo: NAN

Enoch Epelle & John Bibor

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Rivers Crisis: PDP Chairman Hails Jonathan’s Call For Truce

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The Lagos State chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Philip Aivoji, has described former President Goodluck Jonathan’s call to end the political crisis in Rivers as commendable.
Mr Aivoji commended Jonathan  in an interview with The Tide‘s source on Monday in Lagos.
Recall that Jonathan had on Monday implored Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers  and his predecessor, (the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT) Chief Nyesom Wike, to sheathe their swords in order to douse the political temperature in the state.
The former president, who spoke at the inauguration of the N222.1 billion Trans-Kalabari Road construction, emphasised the necessity for Fubara and Wike to collaborate to promote the  progress and prosperity of Rivers State.
He noted that the political tension in the state was excessive and worrisome, and would not contribute to  development.
Jonathan said that destabilising Rivers State would adversely impact the Niger Delta region and could also trigger crises across the country.
Reacting to Jonathan’s admonition, Mr Aivoji described the former President as a man full of experience in mediation and conflict resolution, even at the international level.
“Jonathan is a leader in the party and a leader from South South; there is nothing wrong stepping in to broker peace. It is a good one,” the PDP boss said.
He, however, said that the former President should go further to speak the truth to the warring parties and point out  to each of them where they had erred.
“This is the way to settle issues. If we want to resolve it, we must tell the truth to them.
“The ex-President is an elder, he is an experienced person, who has been meditating in international affairs. Let us see how it goes,” he added.
According to him, the former President, being experienced mediator, must dig deep and probe the cause of the crisis.
“He (Jonathan) has seen it all. Peace of graveyard will not help the matter, they should resolve issues.
“We hope that the nitty-gritty will be looked into and the constitution of the party will be followed if they are true members of the party,” Aivoji said.

 

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Group Carpets Amaewhule Over Political Crisis In Rivers 

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A group, Coalition of Rivers State Leaders of Thought (CORSLOT) has blamed the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Martins Amaewhule, for the escalation of the political crisis in the State.
The coalition, which stated this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, said Rivers State would not have been in its current political situation had Rt Hon Amaewhule played the sacred role providence bestowed on him.
The text for the briefing which was read by the Convener, High Chief Sunnie Chukumele, and co-signed by Prof (Mrs) Reginah Azunwena, Odinaka Osundu, George Ijoma and Elder Anuage Menegbo, also commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his peaceful disposition despite the crisis, adding that this disposition has marked the governor as a man of peace.
“Pitiably under him, the world saw a legislative arm of government that was vehemently out to frustrate the executive arm with all sorts of negative actions against the governor and the government of Rivers State.
“Had Martins Amaewhule seen the state as sacred, he would have mediated in whatever were the issues between our former governor, His Excellency, Chief (Barrister) Nyesom Wike. Amaewhule failed woefully to play a stabilizing role which his exalted office gave him ample role to play”, they said.
The Coalition also called on former Governor Nyesom Wike to have a rethink on the political crisis in the state as he has a cardinal role to play in the resolution of the impasse.
“CORSLOT wishes to advise trouble entrepreneurs and eye service politicians of Rivers State origin to take note that power belongs to God Almighty and the people.
“Rivers people are taking note of these political actors.
“Rivers State is owned by Rivers people and not  self seeking politicians”, they said.
“We begin by appreciating the governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalaye Fubara, for working assiduously for peace by embracing and working with the Presidential Peace Accord of 2023 and to state that it is in recognition of this that the governor has won awards and honours within the state and Nigeria”
The Coalition also thanked the Governor for attending to the needs and welfare of citizens of the state, particularly the welfare of civil servants and the planned employment into the Civil Service.
“CORSLOT further recognizes the governor’s attention on infrastructural development in the state with his continuation of projects he inherited from previous administrations and indeed his bold initiatives of new ones.
These come with spiraling advantages”, they added.
They also urged the governor to take immediate steps to fill his cabinet with men and women who have the capacity to add value to the State.

By: John Bibor

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Council Boss Hails Fubara Over Successful Project Commissioning

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Following the successful commissioning of the  Andoni Section of the Ogoni-Andoni- Opobo Unity Road by Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam has commended the number one citizen of the state for his multiple  infrastructural development projects that have direct bearings on the lives and well -being of Rivers people, especially in NgoTown, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area and its adjoining environs.
The Chairman maintained that the road, as commissioned, will provide connectivity between coastal communities, cities, and hinterlands, facilitating the movement of people, goods and services, which enhances trade, commerce and tourism, and also contributes to local economic development and the local government area’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
On the event, Hon. CookeyGam lauded the efforts of the initiator of the project, 24 years ago, Dr.Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers State, for his determination and love for the people that found expression in the initiation of the Unity Road project which has been able to connect the catchment local government areas of Khana, Andoni and Opobo/ Nkoro, including the neighbouring states.
He described both Dr. Odili and Governor Fubara as beacons of infrastructural development.
The Chairman of Council also urged Andoni people to guard against vandalization and theft of the facilities that have been put in place for their betterment.
He further admonished the people of Andoni in particular, and Rivers people in general, to support the good work the Governor has come to do despite distraction from some politicians in the state who do not mean well for the people.

By: Bethel Toby

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