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Fubara: We’ll remain eternally grateful to Wike – Ijaw leaders

Thousands of Ijaw people from Rivers State, at the weekend, rose from an extra-ordinary meeting and declared that they will remain eternally grateful to the…

Thousands of Ijaw people from Rivers State, at the weekend, rose from an extra-ordinary meeting and declared that they will remain eternally grateful to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Nyesom Wike, for making Sir Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state.

The leaders, women, youths and traditional rulers, who came from all the Ijaw-speaking local government areas of the state made the declaration in Port Harcourt, the state capital, under the auspices of the Rivers Ijaw Peoples’ Congress (RIPC).

Some of the leaders at the event were George Kelly Alabo, Boma Iyayi, Igbani Owaji, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, Prof. Henry Ogiri, Sampson Ngeribara, Major Jack, Amb. Dame Maurine Tamuno, Rufus Godwins, Ojukaiye Flag Amachree

Isobo Jack, Pleasant Briggs, chairmen of local government areas from some Ijaw councils; some members of the House of Assembly from Ijaw constituencies among others.

In a communique read by Senator George Thompson Sekibo, the stakeholders said it was the first time in the past 24 years that there would be power shift to the Ijaws of Rivers, noting that the shift was made possible through the sponsorship and support of Wike.

Sekibo, who read to the cheering of the crowd, expressed sadness over the infusion of false narrative of ethnic colouration into issues of disagreement between Fubara and Wike.

Sekibo said: “Over the centuries, the Ijaw people have been historically known for their gratitude to their benefactors and this has not changed even in the present circumstances.

“We are not unaware of the political dissension in Rivers State and how some prominent Ijaw personalities have been made to join innocently to fuel the disagreement not minding the boomerang effect of such actions on the future of our children and generations to come.

“We, therefore, call on all well-meaning Ijaw leaders in Rivers State and other neighbouring states as well as in the diaspora to join efforts with the Rivers Ijaw Peoples’ Congress as we yearn for a continued and sustained development and growth of Rivers State, the foundation of which was laid by the previous administration.

“It is worthy of of recalling that in his non-discriminatory and inclusive leadership style, the Honourable Minister of Federal Capital Territory has continued to show goodwill and live to the Ijaw nation as reflected in the appointments of illustrious Ijaw sons and daughters into positions of trust at the federal level”.

Sekibo named Ijaw leaders, whose appointments were facilitated by Wike as Chief Boma Iyayi, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NDDC; Rufus Goodwins, Federal Commissioner, Federal Civil Service; Chief George-Kelly Alabo, Director-General, Border Communities Development Agency; Amb. Maureen Tamuno, Managing Director, Abuja Investment Company and Prof. Henry Ogiri, Commissioner, National Population Commission.

He said: “The wrong notion that Ijaw people are in disagreement with other tribes or persons over the current political impasse poses a significant danger to our Ijaw communities and people particularly regarding peaceful coexistence among themselves and with other tribes and people’s.

“We, therefore, condemn all acts and utterances that are inimical to fostering unity among the Ijaw people and between Ijaws and other ethnic groups in Rivers State”.

Appreciating the intervention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Rivers crisis, the stakeholders said: “We sincerely and most humbly acknowledge the intervention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has shown passion, interest and fatherly care in the affairs of Rivers State.

“We are indebted to Mr. President and shall continue to support his Renewed Hope Agenda and further assure him of the safety of our national assets within the territory of Rivers State contrary to the reckless utterances of some misguided elements,” they said.

Sekibo expressed gratitude to former President Goodluck Jonathan for recently demonstrating “remarkable statesmanship and true character of a genuine Ijaw leader” when he called for peace and mutual respect by all parties in the Rivers crisis

He said: “As a group we are not against an Ijaw son as governor of Rivers State as we were at the forefront of the clamour for an Ijaw son or daughter as governor of Rivers state. We worked assiduously and committed our time and resources to see the emergence of our son and brother, the current governor of Rivers.

“As a people we continue to demonstrate our love and support for His Excellency, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory whom we have always seen as our son, brother, leader, friend and lover of the Ijaw nation”.

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