Leaders of the Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State have stated that the Governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, is not responsible for the disunity and divisions that are rocking the oilrich area of the state.
The Concerned Ogoni Leaders, in Port Harcourt yesterday, noted that Wike had often worked for the development of Ogoni communities, saying that he had also supported Ogonis politically.
Speaking, the convener of COL, Mr. Leloonu Nwibubasa, said Ogoni cannot choose the option of silence in a defining moment of its history and that of the state, noting that the Governor of the state has demonstrated verifiable evidence of productive friendship and love for the Ogoni people like no other.
Nwibubasa, who is the former Commissioner for Empowerment and Employment Generation in the state, noted that it is the right of every person, irrespective of ethnicity, to vie for the governorship office of the state, stating that those singing ethnic songs and begging for power and position have simply forgotten how to achieve them.
He stated that the historic project of constructing the dualised Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road was an example of his love for the Ogoni people.
He said: “A governor that has committed almost N30 billion to a singular road project in Ogoni cannot be said to hate Ogoni people, but rather should be commended as a true leader, friend, and brother of the Ogonis.”
Considering the above, it will be entirely wrong for any person or group of people to say that Governor Wike does not love Ogoni.
“Speaking about disunity among our leaders, it is baseless to point accusing fingers at the governor for fueling disunity among Ogoni leaders.” Rather, the governor has been the sincere rallying point of our political leaders.
He recalled the governor advising state political leaders to declare their interest in running for Governor of Rivers State in 2023, noting that a democrat cannot be expected to impose any candidate on the people based on ethnic considerations.
One of their sons, Senator Lee Maeba, and Senator Olaka Worgu, both of Ogoni extraction and of the Rivers South-East senatorial district, have declared their intention to run for the office in 2023, noting that Ogoni has taken it as a duty to take its best products to the political ground to face the contest.
He said that they have carefully listened to many voices on the 2023 governorship election and the need for power rotation in the state and that they cannot put any form of blame on Wike for not supporting an Ogoni son to become governor, saying “wasty.”
Our duty, therefore, as patriotic Ogonis, is to take our best products to the political arena of our choice. Rally the support of others and advance compelling reasons for these capacity leaders to be given a chance to maintain and promote the enduring legacies of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Blaming Governor Wike for not supporting a candidate from Ogoni when the political timing is not even ripe is rather hasty. We should, as a people, unite around the firm and bold declaration of the governor on May 14th, 2021, at the grand civic reception for the governor in Bori, “that the Ogonis will no longer play second fiddle.”
We therefore advise all our political leaders to close ranks and work together to achieve the desire of the Ogonis to produce the next Governor of Rivers State.