Power Rotation: Why Ikwerres won’t give up governorship – Sergeant Awuse
Chief Sergeant Awuse, a high ranking PDP member and close associate of Governor Nyesom Wike has openly declared the Ikwerre nation would aspire to produce another governorship candidate.
Awuse’s assertion is coming as preliminary reactions trail what is most likely to turn into a fierce debate over the issue of power rotation in Rivers State.
Ohna Awuse who many years ago contested the governorship revealed that the Ikwerres who would be doing 16 years in office after the administration of Governor Wike are not yet tired of taking a shot at the governorship.
There have been widespread suspicions that Governor Wike and members of his kitchen cabinet are scheming to plant another Ikwerre Governor in 2023.
Awuse’s remarks, coming after Senator Magnus Abe launched a charade against the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for daring to say the Riverine bloc in Rivers State is entitled to the governorship, has literally confirmed what many in the State has seen all along as a mere rumour.
Among the ethnic Ikwerre, there are speculations that Sir Austin Opara, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and the current Chief of Staff to Governor Wike, Engr Emeka Woke are warming up for the race.
Insiders allege Governor Nyesom Wike is very likely to throw his weight behind his Chief of Staff when the time comes.
There are fears within the Governor’s inner circle that Opara may not be controllable if he emerges as Wike’s successor in office.
Those who are peddling the speculation argue that Opara holds strong views of his own and so may not be trusted to remain loyal to Wike if he is given power.
Given Wike’s penchant for tight control, members of the ruling party in the State seem to believe that Woke may serve the purpose of the king makers.
Those who claim knowledge of what is going on hint that there appears to be a general agreement among allies of the State Governor that power would never be allowed to go to the Riverine bloc.
Awuse, an elder in the PDP, is seriously throwing his lot behind a plan that may pave the way for Emohua to snatch the governorship.
Incidentally, there has been no reaction from Senator Abe over comments made by Chief Awuse over the intention of the Ikwerre nation to produce a third governor from its ranks.
“The alleged sin committed by Rotimi Amaechi when he said the Riverine people should prepare for high office in 2023 pales in significance when compared with the thought of a third Ikwerre bridge builder”, a political observer remarked.
“If Abe was enraged by a comment which seeks to encourage power rotation between the Riverine and Upland areas, it would be nice to know what Abe’s position is on the emergence of another Ikwerre Governor”, the observer noted.
There may be imputations, especially among his supporters that Abe is concerned with what is happening in the APC.
In other words, that what Chief Awuse has said, even though it is of great State interest, might fall within the realm of the internal affairs of the PDP.
But the silence of Abe who claims to be a member of the opposition and a fighter might in the long run impeach his credibility and put his intention within the APC to question.
In comparison, the population of the Upland far outweighs that of the Riverine, meaning that except there is an attempt to concede power to that part of the State, it might be a difficult task for the Ijaws and other minorities to produce a governor.
After Wike’s rule, the Upland areas would have held power at the governorship level for 24 years.
Abe and his associates in the PDP may plead justification for their efforts to stop the Riverine people from ever tasting the governorship, but a robust debate may just be around the corner.
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