With less than two months to the 2023 governorship election in Rivers State, the Ijaw ethnic extraction in the state has given reasons why the Guber candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sir Siminalayi Fubara is their preferred choice.
Presenting his address on the occasion of Ijaw Wari Worldwide Declaration for a Gubernatorial Candidate, held at the NBA Building, Port Harcourt on Sunday, President-General of the group, Somina Wokoma said the decision to endorse the candidacy of Fubara stemmed from far reaching consultations amongst stake holders in the Ijaw Project.
Wokoma who spoke on what he themed, ‘Ijaw Consciousness, a Panacea to Rivers Ijaw Unity’, said the Ijaw Wari Worldwide is a socio-political pressure group uniting Ijaws and promoting their interests all over the world while advocating for peaceful coexistence with its neighbors with special interest in Rivers State.
He emphasized that the choice of Siminalaye Fubara was influenced by any sentiment or financial gratification but rather a function of deep political analysis and calculations, passionate and sacrificial efforts and love for Rivers Ijaw people and Rivers people in general.
“We make bold to say that the governorship candidates from the Rivers Ijaw extraction are all well qualified and are able to lead Rivers State but sadly, it is only one person that will occupy the Rivers Brick House, come May, 2023”, he said.
Wokoma noted that he and other prominent Ijaw leaders in the state have in the past 24 years been on the vanguard of campaigning for an Ijaw governor in the state, and expressed hope that their efforts appeared to be paying off with the candidacy of Fubara.
“Today by the special grace of God, the consistent and timely campaigns of the Ijaw Wari Worldwide has given birth to the emergence of 10 gubernatorial candidates from the Rivers Ijaw extraction, with five from Kalabari ethnic nationality (Rivers West); two from the Ibani block (Rivers South East); one from Obolo (Rivers South East); one from Bille Kingdom (Rivers West); one from Wakrike, Be-Se (Rivers East); and one from Abua Odual (Rivers West).
“However, following the new political order of the state, it is expedient for Rivers people in the Rivers South East Senatorial District which has never produced a governor, to produce the first Rivers State Governor from the Rivers Ijaw extraction after twenty four years of waiting”, Wokomo told the packed audience, amid thunderous applause.
On the crux of the theme of his address, the President General lamented that the Ijaw Consciousness had suffered setback due to greed, selfishness and sentiments, adding: “Otherwise, why would it be an herculean task for the Ijaw fathers to call on the 10 gubernatorial candidates from the Rivers Ijaw extraction to a common ground and prevail on them to step down for the person amongst them with a chance of victory as was the case of late Wenike Briggs and H.E. Late Melford Okilo?”.
Noting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship candidate had 80% chances of emerging the next governor of Rivers State, Wokoma enjoined all Ijaws in the state to throw their weight behind Sim’s candidacy to make the dream a reality.
Earlier in his speech, Chairman of the occasion and Publisher of Eastern Delta Times newspaper, Warisenibo Joe Johnson described the event as a day of reawakening for the Ijaws in Rivers State, while reiterating its significance as coming on the anniversary of the end of Nigeria’s civil war which was fought by notable Ijaw leaders like the late Isaac Adaka Boro.
Johnson who charged all Ijaws to realize their God-given traits as bold, fearless and courageous people, added that “If there is one thing about the Ijaw man or woman, it is the fact that they are no pushovers”.
He thanked the Ijaw Wari Worldwide for the wisdom and endorsement of the candidacy of the Rivers PDP Guber candidate, Amaopu Siminalayi Fubara for the March, 2023 Governorship election in the state, and expressed hope that history would be made with Sim’s expected victory, to break the 24 years governorship jinx for Ijaws of the Eastern bloc.