[dropcap]I[/dropcap]jaw means truth, thankfully this definition is also being promoted by those who seek to take undue advantage of it in stoking the embers of ethnocentric conflict and acrimony in Rivers State.
The current clamour for an ethnocentric Governor of Rivers State against the wishes of the majority of our people is truly within the rights of the proponents. However, what is not agreeable is that they also have the right to use the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality as a bargaining chip having betrayed it on a grand and humongous national scale when they championed the exit of President Goodluck Jonathan from the Presidency of Nigeria. The truth is that they do not, and as such will not go unchallenged.
The truth must be said that since Jonathan an Ijaw man was betrayed by those championing a call for Ijaw Governor in Rivers State, it means that the interest of Rivers State is not the focus of the campaign(ers) but the unending bid to capture her commonwealth, compromise her dignity, conquer her territories and enslave her people, as a bargaining chip for the personal political survival of the principal campaign chiefs.
Of course it also goes without saying that since Jonathan, an Ijaw got the deepest cuts from those championing the current call for an Ijaw Governor of Rivers State, who themselves have been relentless in their bids to sacrifice Rivers State to strange gods, they cannot be pursuing the best interest of Rivers State.
The indicators are quite glaring. They are neither pursuing peace within the State nor have they toned down their divisive rhetoric. They are still as vindictive, insolent, combative and mischievous as they’ve always been. Their disdain for the traditional institution has not abated neither have their aversion for democracy and democratic tenets stopped.
The daylight disruption of the smooth-scaling August 18 Port Harcourt Constituency 3 Assembly by-election in Rivers State properly situates them as anarchists and enemies of democracy. They are not the sort of people that can convince the majority that they pursue a just cause and thankfully, the majority is evidently unperturbed.
The truth has to be said and repeated to those who today are seeking to trade Ijaw for falsehood and rewrite our history. Gov. Wike did not usurp the position of the Ijaw, going by their own position of Upland/Riverine power sharing formula. If anything, it is their Campaign Chief, the embattled former Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, who altered and benefited from the disruption they criticize today. Going by their position, had he allowed an Ijaw/Riverine person then to succeed an Uplander other than himself, today there would not have been such an outcry, as an uplander would be the Governor after that unknown Riverine/Ijaw whose turn former Governor Amaechi took. But having usurped and benefited from such usurpation, he cannot turn around to use the same Ijaw he debased and undermined as the vehicle to promote his political survival.
Ijaw will not be used to promote mischief and falsehood. Besides, if their estimation is that our people are dumb and won’t ask the right questions then they should prepare for the electoral shock of their lives. The wicked plan to conquer and surrender Rivers State under the guise of promoting Ijaw/Riverine cause has already had a stillbirth and has failed woefully as other similar plots like it.
The question to be asked of the current campaigners of a Riverine/Ijaw Governor of Rivers State is what they did when former Governor Amaechi was usurping and altering the order. Were most of them not in the same boat with him? Did they not urge him on? Did they not participate in his government? Did they not benefit from his government? So what makes them think that after doing so, they can turn around to have their cake after eating it?
I am Ijaw and I make bold to say the current ethnocentric campaign being sponsored by former Governor Amaechi and his rejected and divided Political Party, the All Progressives Congress is a failed mission from the onset. Ijaw means truth and the truth must be said for justice to prevail. Governor Wike will complete his current legitimate term and if he chooses to go for another legitimate term, he would be well within his rights to do so and Rivers people will be well within their rights to massively vote for him again.
This time their votes would not just be because he was one of the few who stood by Jonathan, a Riverine, South-South and Ijaw man, when the majority of the new-day Ijaw apologists were digging into his sinews with daggers and draining his blood with straws. It would also be because he has failed to fail like others and unexpectedly performed so well at a time when it makes sense to give excuses, that it would be injurious to the annals of governance in Rivers State that he is not given an opportunity to outperform himself and bequeath a remarkable legacy of performance for the coming generation.
Ijaw is truth. It is important that we all commit to telling truth. Aaaaaah Izon!
Oraye St. Franklyn is a barrister-at-law. He is senior special assistant to Governor Nyesom Wike on Social Media. He is a strategic communicator and good governance advocate, writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He tweets from @SaintOraye. He is also on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.