Rivers State governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2023 election have resolved to zone the seat to the Riverine-Ijaw area of the state.
The aspirants stated this in a communiqué they issued after their meeting on Monday in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The 10-point communiqué was endorsed by 10 aspirants.
The Rivers Ijaw are spread across the coastlines in the over 10 local government areas of Andoni, Opobo Nkoro, Bonny, Okrika, Ogu-Bolo, Port Harcourt (South), Asari-Toru, Degema, Akuku-Toru and Abua-Odual, making them over one-third in the state.
The aspirants said they will further consult other relevant people and key politicians in the state to support power rotation to the zone for the sake of justice and fairness in the distribution of political offices in the state.
“The progressives aspirants agreed to consult other stakeholders, elder statesmen; opinion leaders and key politicians in the state to support power rotation to the Riverine Ijaw come 2023 as a way of ensuring equity, justice and fairness in the distribution of political offices,” they said.
To ensure the victory of the APC in the coming election, the aspirants also resolved to collapse their campaign structures to support whoever emerges the party flagbearer after primaries.
The aspirants also agreed to avoid name calling, insults and pulling down others to gain attention and to caution their supporters against attacking other aspirants on social media.
“As a way of respecting the party supremacy, the aspirants resolved that immediately a candidate emerges, all aspirants will put self and ego aside and collapse their various campaign structures into the party structure to support the flag bearer to win the 2023 elections for APC in Rivers State.
“The progressives aspirants also agreed to work in unity and support whoever emerges at the party primaries either by way of consensus or election as exemplified by the party leadership at the just concluded national convention.”
The group called on members of the party in the state to seek reconciliation, close ranks and work with the leadership of the party to ensure victory at all levels in the 2023 election.
Rivers State with 23 local government areas has had four governors since 1999, all from upland part of the state.
They are Peter Odili from Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, who was governor from 1999 to 2007; Celestine Omehia from Ikwere LGA, who governed the state from May 2007 to October 2007 when he was sacked by the Supreme Court: Rotimi Amaechi, also from from Ikwere LGA, who ruled from October 2007 to 2015; and the incumbent, Nyesom Wike, from Obio Akpor (also from Ikwere ethnic nationality as Mr Amaechi).
Mr Wike, who is currently in his second term, was elected governor in 2015 and will end his tenure in 2023.
All four, including Mr Amaechi who later defected to the APC, were elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).