Former Governor of Rivers State and now current Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi says he would not stop anyone from the Upland part of the State from contesting the governorship election in 2023.
The Minister said while receiving two former Commissioners in Wike’s administration, Dr Reason Onya and Charles Nwaogu as well as some other heavyweights who dumped the PDP for the APC that in his pursuit of a sense of balance and justice, he would support a Riverine aspirant.
But he however noted that if the political spindle spun in favour of the Upland at the end of the day, he would as the leader of the party in the State support the winner.
Amaechi’s clarification is coming weeks after Senator Magnus Abe, one of those who co-sponsored Governor Nyesom Wike’s Ogoni reception last Saturday, alleged his former boss was planning to impose a candidate on Rivers people.
Abe has not been seen at any APC event organized in Rivers State despite receiving several invitations from the party to participate.
Barrister Isaac Ogbobula who met with journalists recently revealed that the Caretaker Comnittee have always sent notices of meetings to everyone in the party.
Somehow, Senator Abe has been linked with the reception held last Saturday in honour of Wike in Khana, with knowledgeable sources acknowledging that the Gokana – born politician even contributed aboit N600,000 towards the hosting of the PDP governor.
Despite Abe’s quest to shake the table, Amaechi who is also the leader of the APC in the South South explained that his preference for a Riverine candidate can not in any way amount to the impostion of a candidate.
He encouraged those in the Upland with an intent to contest the governorship to do so in defense of their individual rights, saying the party would organize free and fair primaries in order to determine in which direction power would swing.
The Port Harcourt Telegraph understands that as a person, Amaechi would like the Riverine bloc which has not tested power in the last 20 years to have the opportunity under a power sharing principle that encourages rotation.
When Governor Wike concludes his second tenure in 2023, people from the Upland would have spent 24 years in the saddle to the total exclusion of the Riverine.
Some are arguing that when the Ijaws held sway in the old Rivers State, they did the same thing.
But Amaechi and others who think the time has come for a change point to the understanding which enabled Dr Peter Odili to emerge victorious.
Recall that Riverine leaders teamed up with their Compatriots in the Upland in an election in 1999 that a Riverine candidate was poised to win to ensure that an Uplander eventually won the governorship.
Since after Odili who hailed from Ndoni, the Ikwerres have single-handedly enjoyed four governorship slots from 2007 to date.
There are those from the Ikwerre stock who believe the Ikwerres are yet to have enough of the governorship.
One of such persons is Chief Sergeant Awuse who has openly declared that the Ikwerres would be going for a fifth slot in a multi-ethnic state.
Somehow, Ogonis think 2023 is their date with history.
Abe fully understands this desire and is crafty enough to take advantage of the Ogoni urge for governorship.
Rivers people may have to decide what the road map to the futre would look like.
They would have to decide whether the Ogoni quest would come immediately after the reign of the Ikwerre or whether it would have to wait until after the Riverine has done eight years.
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