A non-political pressure group in Rivers State, the Rivers Women Alliance (RIWA) has declared that its advocacy for a governor from the riverine axis of the state is without any ethnic bias.
The group, which said the call for a governor from the Ijaw extraction of the state in 2019 was a demand for justice, equity and fairness.
Secretary of RIWA, Miss Myne Wilfred, who spoke yesterday during an interactive session with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, said a lot of people misunderstand the clamour by the group.
Wilfred said: “As a non-political, non-governmental group, The Rivers Women Alliance has made it clear that the call or advocacy for a riverine governor is without ethnic bias in any way.
“We have asserted that anyone thinking otherwise, greatly misunderstands the clarion call being sounded.
“For the Rivers Women Alliance, it is call for justice, equity, fairness and a united process for the interest of our dear Rivers State, thus are neutral in our advocacy and without any iota of ethnic bias or undertone.
“Our advocacy is precipitated on the need for every part of Rivers State to feel a sense of belonging and not feel alienated in a State we are supposed to share in a common heritage.
“From 1999 power has been domiciled in one part of the State, by geographical implications, the Orashis, Ikwerres, Ogonis, Oyigbos, Elemes and the Ogbas are all in the upland and power has been in this particular area for about 20 years, this is a total and crude marginalisation of the Riverine people.
“It is this campaign we are taking to our people through various Public awareness mediums. In continuation with our interactive sessions using the media to push our quest and pass our message.”
Wilfred stated that Rivers women from the 23 local government areas of state, came together to plead with other ethnic groups to allow the Ijaws occupy the state Government House in 2019.
She said: “What we are doing is an appeal to stakeholders in the business of politics in Rivers State to allow justice, equity and fairness in the rotation of the Governorship seat.
“By 2019, the upland section of the state would have governed the state for 20 years, and it will be fair and godly to allow the Riverine people to be in power.”
Also speaking a stalwart of RIWA, Mrs Helen Waribugo, said no Rivers person with conscience would be opposed to the quest for power rotation in the state.
Waribugo recalled that political leaders from the Ijaw extraction of the state championed and supported an upland person in 1999 to be governor.
She said: “That sincere action by the Rivers leaders from the Riverine area of the state made Dr. Peter Odili, and upland man as governor of the state.
“As mothers, we don’t segregate among our children, so we can no longer endure the unending scheme to deny the Ijaws the governorship position of the state.”
In her contribution, another member of the group, Mrs. Naomi Duke, appealed to Rivers people to support the group’s advocacy for the Ijaws to occupy the government house in 2019.
“Power rotation is a call for justice, equity, fairness and peace for development to thrive in the state.
“Allowing someone from the Ijaw extraction to govern the state will also put an end to unnecessary ethnic agitation for power in the state.”