A coalition of over 40 Community Based Oganisations, CBOs, which goes by the name Rivers Unity Alliance (RUA) in collaboration with the South-South Chiefs, Elders and Opinion Leaders, has launched its quest for the emergence of a governor of riverine extraction in Rivers State in 2023.
The agenda tagged “PROJECT 2023 RIVERINE GOVERNOR” was launched at a well attended world press conference on Monday, March 14 in Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the press conference, the Lead Convener of Rivers Unity Alliance (RUA), Comrade Charles Inko-Tariah, stated that the coalition in conjunction with critical stakeholders was out to ensure that one of the numerous qualified personalities of riverine extraction in Rivers State emerges as governor in 2023.
“We look forward to a credible, selfless and people oriented riverine governor come 2023. And for the record, we all know that the riverine people have them in abundance. It is only golden and patriotic 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.
“So, we are sincerely calling on the political parties/stakeholders to pick their governorship candidates from the riverine extraction in the buildup to the 2023 general elections,” Comrade Charles Inko-Tariah, who is also the Project Coordinator of Homeland Awareness and Sensitisation Initiative, declared.
Speaking earlier, Comrade Inko-Tariah had recounted how Rivers State has been led by governors of Upland extraction since 1999 to date.
“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 Rotimi 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 people.
“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 extraction to create balance and promote equity, justice and fairness in the political claim.
“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.” Comrade Inko-Tariah stated.
Prominent personalities that are part of the project who graced the occasion include High Chief Dr. Omubo A. Harry, National Chairman, South-South Chiefs, Elders and Opinion Leaders Forum; Comrade Dr. Sotonye George, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation; Barr. Chukwudi Nwodo, Chairman, Lawyers in Politics, Rivers Chapter; and Dr. Ibim Warigbere, Convener, Professionals for Good Governance Initiative, amongst others.