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The Political Boomerang Some Of Us Saw In 2015 & Said No! ~ By Maobuye Nangi Obu

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…to the goddess. Truth is, i will not cry ‘boohoo’ for the Rivers-Ijaws.

My friend and I had an exchange precisely, last Wednesday on the recent Rivers tribunal judgements. The crux of the matter rests within the centre point of the 2019 Rivers guber race. We were arguing which group should be considered and why.

Whilst that argument was on, we veered into the current tribunal judgements. And my friend quickly went hysterical, and then I differed in my opinion. I have known this paddyman for close to two decades and I can tell effortlessly that he is of sane mind and mostly rational with his decisions, but on this; I had the effrontery and highest temerity to differ with him because he is still swimming in the mundane campaign mantra that brought Wike to power that he (Wike) is “Pro-Ijaw” and Amaechi is not. Yet the “Trans-Kalabari highway” is still begging Wike for commencement. The Bonny road is not talked about anymore, the Andoni unity road is now replaced with violence on the Andoni/Obolo-Ijaw soil. But the thing is, at this point it is immaterial who is pro and anti Ijaw; clearly my political permutations in 2015 is now proven to be better than the current political arrangement in the state. 

1. His first question went this way; “Mao Nangi, now that Sen.Magnus Ngei Abe (an uplander have been declared winner of the Rivers South-East Senate seat) and now Sen.Andrew Igbonule Uchendu (another uplander) has been confirmed winner of the Rivers East Senatorial district. Knowing that we have just three Senatorial districts in the state, is it proper to allow all three Senatorial seats to be occupied by the uplanders?”

2. Then the second question; “you know say the Sen.Osy Ideozu (Rivers West) guy sef na another uplander (or, I go say na semi-riverine)?”. So, as an Ijaw man, what is your say on these? They have really relegated us to nothing in this State.

And my response; Pally, first of, who relegated who? In my opinion of equity and fairness, I strongly believe that any position in the state should rotate after 8years to other ethnic nationalities/groups. Like in the Rivers West Senatorial district where I belong. I cannot forget in a hurry how Sen.Dr. Soala Ibiapuye Martyns-Yellowe (now late) occupied that seat for eight (8) years (from 1999-2007). Whether late Martyns-Yellowe did well for his people or not is discussion for another day. But all I know is that, after 8years somebody from another ethnic group other than the Kalabari block succeeded him (i.e. Sen.Wilson Ake). Then again, whether Sen. Wilson Ake did well as a Senator or not is not the subject matter here. The thing is that, rotation of power is natural in Rivers State and has been in existence until her majesty the “goddess fufurufu” thought otherwise in 2015 without properly thinking it through.

So, if it pans out today that all three Senators from the state are from the upland because of the very sick and regretful political decision from our own people, may it be so. Albeit, I would say we should check if they are all starters or ‘final year Senators’, I mean, if they are ‘freshers or second tenure Senators’. On the other hand, let us also ask to know the rationale behind their emergence as flag bearers. However, I am aware that my opinion of ‘power sharing’ may not be constitutional, but in the spirit of fairness I believe every Senator, Reps member, Assembly member and Governor should leave that seat after 8years (two tenures). 

Now let us quickly look at Sen.George Thompson Sekibo. He is about the most Fortunate ‘outgone’ Rivers Senator amongst his colleagues since 1999. He has been Senator for ten solid years and eighty-five days spanning from 2007-2011, 2011-2015, 2015- August 2017. Before then he was in the House of Reps from 2003-2007; what has he done for his people in Ogu/Bolo let alone the Ijaws of Rivers State that are breaking their heads for him today? My brother, even though we all know that Chief Andrew Uchendu is another ‘landlord’ like Sen.Sekibo in the National Assembly, I am of the opinion that other ethnic group(s) within that Senatorial district should also have a feel of the seat just like we vehemently abhor another Ikwerre man to occupy the Brick House in 2019. 

Clearly, Senator Sekibo’s ascension (or return if you like) to the Senate again in 2015 was only by default. In fact it was forceful, ill-calculated and conjured out of sheer greed. This was one of the monumental mistakes done by the Ijaw-goddess and her dear husband just to be politically correct for imposing us with Wike. Today, look at what their ‘amateur’ political decision has cost the Rivers Ijaws? Before you cry foul, channel your grievances to the goddess herself for the right answers. Why didn’t she present Sen.George Sekibo who also wanted to run as Governor then instead of Wike? Is Sekibo not fit to be Governor? Is Sen.Sekibo not her Brother? Why not send Wike to the Senate instead? Only the Almighty knows their insistence on Wike in 2015 against all odds. Today the Ijaws who gave power to others are nowhere in the political scene because of one person’s arrogance and greed. 

Also from the recent political expose and extrapolations, it is glaring that all the evil they did to Rivers people in 2015 were built on sinking sand. Gradually, they are sinking and the Rivers-Ijaws are licking their wounds. So my dear Brother, I wouldn’t bulge now if the current Governor is an Ikwerre man and the Senator is also an Ikwerre man and all three Senators are also Ikwerre. If you will want to be fair to the Ikwerres, in 2015 they did not line up to become Governor again, they wanted the Senate but our own people (the goddess and some Ijaws) blindly refused but insisted they continue as Governor even when Amaechi said “NO” because he felt it is injustice to other ethnic groups. The goddess and her followers said only “Wike” has the magic wand to do and undo in Rivers State and by hook or crook, they made him become Governor. So, imbrae (my Brother in Kalabari) I will not cry boohoo now, I have been crying since 2015. 

Fast-forward to the 2019 bid, it is glaring that Gov.Wike is a ‘sole administrator’ in Rivers State and he happens to be the only ‘qualified’ member of the PDP to run for the Governorship in 2019. So, in my considered opinion; I would say the Ijaws should jettison the idea of running for the Governorship under the PDP in 2019 because Gov.Wike has made himself the ‘sole candidate’. Rivers Ijaws should start looking elsewhere if they want to be Governor in 2019. Just look elsewhere other than the PDP if you want to be Governor of Rivers State in 2019. Look elsewhere. I warned you…

A stitch in time saves nine.

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