PORT HARCOURT – A coalition of 40 community-based organisations in Rivers State has initiated moves to ensure that the next Governor of Rivers State in 2023 comes from the riverine area of the state.
Towards this end, the coalition operating under the auspices of Rivers Unity Alliance (RUA), has launched what it called Project 2023 Riverine Governor.
Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt on Monday in conjuction with South South Chiefs, Elders and Opinion Leaders, Charles Inko- Tariah, spokesman of RUA said by next next year, the Upland part of Rivers State would have being at the helm of affairs exclusivelu for 24 years.
He called on political parties to nominate their governorship candidates for 2023 election in the state from the riverine area, adding that the riverine has capable individuals who can give good leadership to Rivers State if given the opportunity.
The full text of his address reads:
Gentlemen of the press , may I once more welcome you to this World Press Conference tagged “PROJECT 2023 RIVERINE GOVERNOR”
It is indeed an inaugural outing of the
*Rivers Unity Alliance RUA* , a Coalition of over 40 Community Based Oganisations, CBOs, in collaboration with the *South South Chiefs, Elders and Opinion leaders* in our resolve to protect the age long harmonious and reciprocal relationship , which without any doubt, birthed the politics of inclusion in Rivers State.
Rivers State, with a population of about seven million, and land mass of over eleven thousand square kilometers, is divided along Riverine and Upland by default. Statistics show that about sixty percent of the total land mass is water, and communities along the waterways are known and called Riverine communities while communities within the northern part of the State are known and called Upland.
Since the inception of Rivers State, political activities and sharing of positions have always been considered, using the above divide.
Like the federal character principle , where power and leadership are distributed along the regional lines, even as the country seriously yeans for power shift to the South , we equally want the 2023 governor of River State to come from Riverine extration to create balance and promote equity, justice and fairness in the political claim.
Recall that for about 24years ( 1999-2023), the Upland section of the State has produced the governor – Dr Peter Odili from 1999 to 2007, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi between 2007 and 2015, and the incumbent Governor Wike from 2015 to date. But we cannot sit and watch this lopsidedness continue as Rivers.
So, we are sincerely calling on the political parties/stakeholders to pick their governorship candidates from the riverine extraction in the build up to the 2023 general elections.
We look forward to a credible , selfless and people oriented reverine governor come 2023. And for the record, we all know that the Riverine people have them in abundance.
It is only golden and patrotic that Rivers politicians collectively uphold this age-long sharing formula between the UPLAND and the RIVERINE.
Accordingly, we are putting together a project team to interface with relevant stakeholders across all the political leaders and interest groups to actualize the “PROJECT 2023 RIVERINE GOVERNOR”
We shall continue to update you with our activities as we progress on this course .
Again thank you very much for coming and God bless you.
Charles Inko- Tariah
Spokesman , RUA