A Non-Governmental Organization known as Eastern Delta People Association has called on sons and daughters of Ijaw extraction to be in one accord to produce a riverine governor in 2015.
Speaking at a convention tagged “Eastern Women Convention” held in Port Harcourt, Hon. Barr. Manuela George Izunwa, the chairperson of the women wing of the association and former Commissioner for Women Affairs who lamented neglect of women in the Niger Delta region, disclosed that the essence of the convention was to tackle the challenges facing women in the region.
Barr. Izunwa recalled that these challenges were not created today but culmination of long periods of disappointment, oppression, deprivation and repressive cultural practices meted out to the women folk in the region.
According to her “it is our view that after fifteen years of our democracy the riverine people should also have an opportunity in the governance of our dear state”.
Earlier in her speech Dr. Dame Christy Toby, the wife of the former Deputy Governor of Rivers State described the programme as timely.
According to her, the idea for the women of Ijaw extraction coming together to support our men on the leadership of the state is necessary” there is need for us to rise up and take our stand for a riverine governor in 2015.
Dr. Toby expressed optimism that at the end of the convention the Eastern Delta Peoples Association, EDPA will establish a road map for the governorship in the state.
In her key note address, “Equity, Equal Opportunity and political leadership by Professor Mrs. Bene Willie Abbey recalled that since the creation of Rivers State in 1967 the state has produced sixteen governors and none was a woman, pointing out that it is only recently that women have began to occupied sensitive position in the state which have helped to strengthened the women fold.
She, however called on women to do all what it takes especially education and active participation in politics to enable them to be in leadership position.
In his speech Deacon L. F. Jumbo, Chairman Steering Committee of the organization who enumerated Rivers Eastern Ijaw groups in the state such as Kalabari, Okrika, Bonny, Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro and Abua LGAs, noted that since the creation of Rivers State the upland has ruled for sixteen years and appealed that the next governor in 2015 should come from Rivers Ijaw axis of the state. ###
Emeka Jilly Ejiowhor