The Rivers Ijaw People's Forum, a socio-political group of the Ijaw ethnic nationality has thrown its full weight behind the candidature of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for another shot at the Brick House, come 2019.
Briefing journalists during a press conference held at the Ernest Ikoli Press Center, Port Harcourt last Thursday, the group said it came to the resolution having x-rayed what it said was the political realities of the moment.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the briefing which was signed by Chief Ferdinand Alabraba and 51 others, the group said that in reaching at their decision to back Wike's re-election bid, they took cognizance of the overwhelming successes so far recorded by the Governor in all sectors of the economy.
The forum which comprises notable traditional rulers, chiefs, leaders of thought, men, women and youths of all Ijaw clans in Rivers State said Wike achieved the successes at a time of national economic stringency, adding that it reflects a true mark of judicious management of the state resources.
The group recalled that it endorsed Wike for Governor in 2015, adding “he has not disappointed us, in that, every Ijaw local government area has Wike's touch or signature in terms of projects and appointments”.
“Wike has given Rivers people purposeful leadership and endeared himself to all in many ways. He exemplified good governance, anchored on inclusiveness and transparency, which has effectively mobilized and united the people of the state for progress and development”, they said.
Other milestones recorded by the Governor, according to the Ijaw leaders include: ensuring the spread of various educational, health, road and other infrastructural projects in all the 23 local government areas of the state; making of significant progress in restoring peace and security in the state, thus enhancing investment potentials of the state.
The group said Ijaws would not forget 'in a hurry' what they called a betrayal and collaborated effort by the leadership of the APC in 2015 in scuttling the second term ambition of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“The Ijaw Ethnic Nationality will continue to acknowledge with deep appreciation, the strong bond of brotherhood amongst the people of the Niger Delta as manifested in the noble role played by Chief Nyesom Wike, the leader of PDP in Rivers State, who when it became necessary to be our brother's keeper, rose to the occasion and stood by our Ijaw son, President Jonathan”, they said.
“It is in these context, having reviewed our national, state and local interests, that we the Ijaw people of Rivers State have not only taken sides with Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, but hereby endorse him for a second term in office”, they declared, while thanking him for appointing Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo as his running mate for a second term in office.