When people complain that the Ijaw National Congress is speaking against the political crises in Rivers State just because the governor is an Ijaw man, they lose sight of the bigger picture.
The Ijaw in Rivers State have always been pan Rivers. Every governor in Rivers State up to Former Governor Wike has had the help and support of the Ijaw in their rise to power.
In 1999, Chief Marshal Harry, Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas and Chief Ombo Isokariari amongst other s worked assiduously for the emergence of Sir. Dr. Peter Otunnya Odili.
This was despite the fact that Ebenezer Isokariari was an Ijaw son and in fact a Kalabari man. When Odili was about to leave, Chief Sara Anabs Igbe was one of the loudest voices for Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi despite the fact that other Ijaw sons had indicated interest.
Among the Young Turks supporting Amaechi were Ijaw sons like Dakuku Peterside, Tamunoiyoriari Parker , Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja to name just a few. In 2015, when former Governor Chibuike Amaechi supported the shift of power to the riverine and ensured the APC picked Dr. Dakuku Peterside as its governorship candidate, it was through the benevolence of an Ijaw woman Patience Jonathan, her ijaw husband Good luck Jonathan and the instrumentality of the Ijaw ethnic nationality that HE Nyesom Wike emerged governor.
Then, the shouts of Asawana were not considered an irritation nor ethnic aberration because it served the purpose of those who wanted power. The Ijaw have always fought for the rights of minorities. They have remained in the fore of this fight right from the colonial days.
It is purely a fight for equity and nothing more because no society survives well if it is built on inequality.
Equity, fairness and justice is the hallmark of democratic societies. Egberi fa.
~ Dame Ibim Semenitari
Former Commissioner for Information, Rivers State.
Former, Acting M.D. NDDC.
Dame Ibim Semenitari writes from Port Harcourt.