The battle to succeed Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is taking a feverish dimension backstage. A seeming rainbow group of chiefs and elders is busy advocating for equity, justice, and fairness in the 2023 politics of the big oil and gas state.
The rainbow group, Concerned Rivers Chiefs and Elders Forum (CRCEF) is throwing its support behind an illustrious son of the state, Sobomabo Jackrich, who they want to join the race for the governorship of the state.
The group which consists of individuals from the 23 local government areas of Rivers, cuts across the academia, community heads, youths, politicians, and the business. They recently converged at the Ogbogoro community hall in Obio Akpor Local Government Area, Governor Wike’s home local government area, to make their plan for the state public.
Local sources say they agreed on the need for the governorship of the state to return to the Riverine/Upland sharing formula for equity justice and fair play. They are equally urging all and sundry to get their PVC, and brace to vote for candidates of their choice.
In an outcome of the meeting that was read out by the group’s Chairman, Pastor Tekena Abel Tariah, a former APC Treasurer, and the Vice-Chairman, Prof Lawson Ihuigwe, they publicly declared: “We the entire members of the Concerned Rivers Chiefs and Elders Forum (CRCEF), a Pan Rivers forum of Chiefs and Elders advocating for equity, justice, and fairness in the politics of Rivers state, wish to use this medium to lend our voice to the call for the emergence of a governor of Rivers State from the Riverine extraction of Rivers state.
‘’This is to create a balance in the political diversity in Rivers as a heterogeneous society made up of a diverse multiplicity of ethnic groups, who have come together in their differences to forge a common front for the overall good of all Rivers people.’’
While demanding that all political parties in Rivers State should as a matter of importance, foster Riverine candidates in their various parties, in a bid to actualize the quest for a governor of Rivers State from the Riverine area, come 2023, they asked Sobomabo Jackrich, a high chief, to throw his hat in the ring to contest for the office of the governor.
According to them, the call for Jackrich is borne out of his traceable track record of positive impacts in the lives of Rivers people and beyond, through his philanthropic gestures and human capital development programs.
Jackrich’s antecedent in empowering the youths to be self-employed and self-reliant, through Business Startup packages and Skills acquisition programs have alleviated poverty and reduced the involvement of youths in criminal activities, the elders continued.
Continuing, they pointed out that Jackrich support for education through numerous scholarship programs and education support initiatives has further helped numerous young people in their academic pursuits and the actualization of their goals in life.
They added that Jackrich’s support for agriculture to achieve food security has helped fishermen and farmers in various local government areas in the state, with bicycles, canoes, and other tools to improve their productivity and yield thereby, lifting families out of hunger and extreme poverty.
They explained that these serve as clear indications to us as concerned Rivers people that if in his private capacity, he could carry out such outlandish impactful programs, then we are greatly assured that Rivers state under his watch will become a very prosperous one.
The group then called on him to step forward and lead Rivers State to our desired destination of prosperity, as optimism is high that Jackrick has both the will and capacity needed to reposition Rivers state’s economy and make it work for all.
“Rivers State is reeling from the scourge of gross mismanagement, zero economic development policy, and lack of transparency and accountability, with its attendant consequences of extreme poverty, lack of jobs for our teeming population of, shutting down of small and medium scale enterprises due to crude government policies in the state; not forgetting that our dear state leads in unemployment chats, what we need as a people that are desirous for good governance, is a man who has a positive track record and bold footprint in the development of the state”, the group said.