Across the Rivers State, particularly within the Riverine areas, a subtle campaign to draft an oil mogul and businessman into the 2023 governorship race is gathering steam.
He is a philanthropist and owner of a flourishing oil outfit which operates two oil wells in the Niger Delta region.
His name is Engineer Jackrich Tein Jnr.
Underground, a group of elders and youths have been pushing for months to encourage the young businessman to consider answering growing calls to join the Governorship race in his home state.
Jack hasn’t uttered a word or given any indication he has any ambition to govern Rivers State after Governor Nyesom Wike completes his tenure.
Our sources say the billionaire businessman is keeping an eye open, and possibly monitoring developments in his home state.
Now, campaigners who believe he can make a good governor are stepping up their demand and establishing delivery vehicles which may become useful in driving the mobilization process.
A group of South South youths operating under the umbrella of the Transparent Leadership Initiative said through one of its leaders that it has studied the contributions and antecedents of Jackrich.
Leader of the group​ a​nd former lawmaker representing Ahoada East Constituency 1 in the Rivers State House of Assembly Chief Hon Martin Mannah said the group was convinced Engr Tein Jackrich Jnr​ has what it takes to guide Rivers State through its difficult times.
Rivers State has one of the worst unemployment figures. Most businesses have closed shop and moved to greener pastures.
Its politics isn’t for the chicken-hearted. It is as turbulent as the surrounding seas which border its shoreline.
Mannah expressed confidence in the capacity of the young technocrat to turn around the Rivers economy and set the stage for growth and prosperity as a state governor.
Jackrich who has started the effort to transform Kula into an export terminal through the Kula Atlantic City project is yet to react personally, but campaigners who are championing the “We Want Jackrich Campaign” say they will not stop until the man listens to them.
While friends and associates of the billionaire step up their bid, Engr. Tein T.S. Jack-Rich has advised elected public office holders and other politicians to concentrate on implementing their electioneering promises to the people.
He said it was necessary at this time for the political class to play according to the rules of the game.
A prominent Niger Delta Leader and associate of the oil mogul, Anabs Sara-Igbe, said, “We thank all those calling on Engr. Tein Jack-Rich to contest for the Governorship of Rivers State.”
Sara-Igbe acknowledged that the calls were obviously being intensified “because of his visible performance across the country in the areas of provision of potable water for the generality of the people, employment and empowerment, road construction and other infrastructural development, provision of basic healthcare and support for education, particularly in the area of award of scholarship to indigent sons and daughters of Rivers State, Niger Deltans and the host of Nigerians.”
Cautioning politicians and others who are part of the plot to make Jack-Rich governor, Sara-Igbe explained that the oil magnate would appreciate if” the politicians would play by the rules of electoral guidelines” by facing issues of governance “as their endorsement could be misconstrued as coming too early.”
He reiterated that the humanitarian gestures of Engr Jack-Rich have no political undertone.
“Engr. Tein Jackrich is carrying out these selfless services for the benefits of humanity; not because of his interest in politics nor his intention to contest for the governorship of Rivers State; but rather as a philanthropist, his joy is seeing people happy”, the statement added.
Incidentally, campaigners for a Jack-Rich guber bid have not tied their quest to any political platform.
What is critical to those who want the multi billionaire to contest, is his acceptance of their plea for him to get on board the Rivers political ship.