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‎Rivers Ijaw youths seek riverine governor


Ijaw youths in Rivers State yesterday urged other ethnic stocks in the state to support a Riverine governor in 2015. The youths spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, during the inauguration of the student and youth wing of the Eastern Delta Peoples Association (EDPA). EDPA is the umbrella socio political organisation of Rivers Ijaw communities spread across  ten LGAs of Rivers State. The youths said: ” We have charged ourselves with the responsibility to effect immediate one on one voters education and ensure that our people are mobilised for the electoral process as well as seek the support of others  to produce the next governor of Rivers State come 2015, by the special grace of God. The EDPA, our parent body, is the umbrella socio- political organisation of Rivers Ijaw communities spread across  ten LGAs of Rivers State. We focus and pursue the socio-political and economic integration and advancement of the creek dwellers of the State. Our leaders have agreed with us the people that having honourably participated twice  since the advent of the current political dispensation in 1999 and supported four times the people of the hinterland in good faith to produce, occupy and serve Rivers State as governors for the permissible two terms in office  in each occasion ;we ask for the same measure of friendship and support that we have freely given in the past, to enable a daughter or son of our challenged locality to occupy the Brick House and give adequate attention to our plight and that of other Rivers communities . We shall be promoting injustice and exclusion if another son or daughter from the hinterland insists to occupy the seat of government for another eight years to making twenty-four years of uninterrupted occupation of Brick house. We commend other organisations and groups within the riverine communities that exist across the three senatorial districts of the state, that have openly thrown their support behind Rivers Ijaws  through EDPA either in spoken words, written letters and actions taken in pursuit of this worthy venture. We salute your courage and resilience and formally welcome you to the EDPA family.” The youths revealed their plan to hold a 50,000man  unity rally in October “to strengthen our bond and mobilise support of all fair minded citizens to support this just cause of the emergence of a Rivers governor of the Ijaw extraction”. They added: “Already, EDPA has collected not less than twenty-five thousand signatures endorsing the rally and more persons by the day are expressing support for the emergence of a Riverine Ijaw person as next governor of Rivers State.


Twenty groups have also expressed support and solidarity in this noble pursuit. They include Eastern Delta Youth Assembly, Rivers Coalition, Ijaw Youth Council – Eastern Zone, Ijaw Project 2015, Ijaw Youth Mandate, Ogoni Alliance, Etche Brothers Assembly, Ikwerre Peoples Alliance, Ekpeye Assembly,  Ogba Unity Forum,  Eleme Peoples Assembly, Wakirike Youth Congress, Kalabari Youth Front, among others.  Let it be on record that all Rivers Ijaws are united in this mission which we consider as the path of justice and equity .This  50,000 man Unity Rally shall be a peaceful political demonstration devoid of violence. Ten speakers, including two former governors have been billed to speak at the rally scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt at the historic Isaac Boro Park. We have seen varying forms of maneuvering , selling of outright lies, distortion of history and inducements to deny rivers Ijaws the same opportunity that we freely gave to our brothers in the past , thereby seeking to erase  us out of the political equation of Rivers State. Our leaders, sons and daughters have agreed not to reject any money or gift offered to gain their support by these agents of disunity and hatred , simply because the item can be of service to them at some point. On 2015 polls, we have resolved to support a Rivers Ijaw candidate.
“We, therefore, encourage all men of good will, lovers of justice, equity and unity  to keep pumping in the money in as many schemes as possible to support our economy. The vote of the People of Rivers State is not for sale.Rampant financial inducement and offer of future political offices and contracts have been used to gradually trigger extremism and relapsed our society back to the era of frequent recording of politically related crimes. This is not a welcome development and we must do all to resist violence and other vices that disrupts the peace of our people. We admonish our youths to avoid all unlawful act.”
They urged the upland people to reciprocate the support the riverine people have given them since 1999. They appealed to political parties to field only riverine candidates.
“Our  upland brothers held power for sixteen years  creditably while the rivers Ijaws honorably offered our support in full, it is only fair and just to lend same enjoyed friendship and support to the people of the riverine communities come 2015.In the coming weeks and months, political parties shall commence their  standard flag bearer selection processes, we, therefore, remind the National and State leaders of the respective parties to remember that a social debt is owed to the people of the rivers Ijaws with respect to governorship of Rivers State.
“It is only but fair to offset these existing social debt. A candidate of the Ijaw extraction definitely settles the civic debt owed the people of the Riverine. Luckily Rivers Ijaws can be found in the three senatorial districts of the state. Our ears are choked with the new doctrine of manipulation “Let the best man win.
“We are satisfied that Eastern Ijaws or Rivers Ijaws have solid , credible and competent young men and women who can offer real leadership to the state . Finally, we must at all times show our well known spirit of accommodation of others and our unity in diversity and continue to coexist in happiness. This is the most important service we owe to our people and ancestors. This will mean a big win for the people of Rivers State. It’s a consideration that will pacify all agitation, join new hands in friendship and strengthen existing relationships. This panacea will stabilise our polity, save lives and help more of our people to live free of fears. This is the agenda that Rivers People prays and shall vote to uphold come 2015,” they said.

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