Rivers Ijaws Disown Endorsement Of Wike
The umbrella body of Ijaws in Rivers State, Pan Rivers Alliance, has rejected a purported endorsement of the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike, to run for governor of Rivers State in the 2015 general elections.
The Ijaw groups' apex body made the position of their people known in an advertorial signed by prominent leaders in the area, Hon (Sir) Elemchukwu Ogbowu, Hon. Lolo Ibieneye and Capt. Sowaribi Tolofari (rtd), and published in The Nation newspaper of Tuesday, April 29, 2014 [page 61].
The group recalled attempts made by Barr. Nyesom Wike to recruit sons of Rivers Ijaw such as the incumbent Minister of Sports, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Mr. Rudderford Long-John, Mr. Pleasant Braide, Mr. Okpakrite Jackreece, Chief Ibe Eresia-Eke, Chief Austin Okpokiri, Chief Precious Elekima and Hon. Hope Ikiriko to procure the endorsement for himself [Wike] through monetary and contract inducements.
“The Pan Rivers Alliance (Rivers West Senatorial District) notes that never in the political history of Nigeria, since the failed bid by General Sani Abacha to transmute from a military to a civilian Head of State, has the political ambition of any Nigerian been inundated with so much orchestrated endorsements like that of the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike,” the statement declared.
It further held: “There appears to be no end to these stage-managed endorsements of Nyesom Wike which is tearing apart the Rivers State PDP as the party is inundated daily with claims and counterclaims to these phantom endorsements.”
The group described the behavior of some Ijaw elements that have fallen to the inducements of the Minister of Education as self-serving.
The statement queried: “What are the 'persuasive and binding legal reasons' that compelled Dr. Tammy Danagogo to endorse Nyesom Wike in contravention to the provision of the PDP Constitution in its Aims and Objectives in Chapter 1 item 3[C] that guarantees 'Adhering to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness.'?”
“When did Barrister Nyesom Wike become the yardstick for competence and experience in Rivers State, having been elected a Local Government Chairman straight from NYSC, then appointed a Chief of Staff and then a Minister within twelve years?” it queried.
The Pan Rivers Alliance stated: “It is most tragic that Nyesom Wike is being described as the liberator of Rivers people from Governor Amaechi, because as the most powerful Chief of Staff ever, he (Wike) is said to have initiated and executed most of the anti-people policies of Amaechi's government.”
The group stated further: “We therefore call on these misguided few to retrace their footsteps and stop the make-believe endorsements of Nyesom Wike. We call on them to support the popular desire of Rivers people to ensure the emergence of the next governor from either Kalabari, Ogoni, Andoni, Ibani(Opobo/Bonny), Eleme, Ndoki, Ekpeye, Ogba, Engeni, Abua, Odual, Etche/Omuma or Okrika.”
It would be recalled that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has since been thrown into disarray when a gale of endorsements of Barr. Nyesom Wike for 2015 governorship race was ostensibly activated by the Supervising Minister of Education through his associates.
Sam Otonye, Esq.
Media & Communications Department
Pan Rivers Alliance