Rivers 2023: Group demands Governorship candidate of Ogoni extraction
By Chris Ezeonoh
A political organization in Rivers State, Ogoni Democracy and Development Forum (ODDF) has urged the political actors in the state, particularly the two major political parties, Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress, (APC) to pick their governorship candidates for the 2023 election from the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
The group argued that doing so would assuage the age long feeling of political marginalization the Ogonis have suffered for 55 years of the creation of Rivers State.
In an advocacy forum organized by the group in Port Harcourt themed, “The Road to 2023: Addressing the political marginalization of the Ogoni people, fifty-five years after”, the convener of the group, Legborsi Pyagbara, maintained that the Ogoni have been silenced in strategically political positions in the state and country at large.
Pyagbara who was the immediate past president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, (MOSOP) pointed out that political marginalization is an integral part of the core issues in the ongoing Ogoni struggle for justice. The Trumpet Gathered
He said, “As the clock ticks to the 2023 general elections and political parties are making frantic efforts to meet the deadline set by INEC for the emergence of candidates to represent their various political parties, we wish to draw the attention of leaders of the political parties to seize this opportunity to address the political injustice that has been against the Ogoni people over the years by successive government in Rivers State since its creation.
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“We are appealing that the leaders should demonstrate statesmanship, equity, fair play and sense of justice by ensuring that a Rivers Governor of Ogoni extraction emerges as governorship flag bearer on their various political parties particularly, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP and All Progressives Congress, APC.
“The issue of political marginalization of the Ogoni people has been one of the triplets of core issues in the ongoing Ogoni struggle for justice.
The Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) submitted to the government and people of Nigeria in October 1990 had amongst others called on the government of Nigeria to guarantee the Ogoni people adequate and direct representation as of right in all Nigeria national institutions”.
The former MOSOP leaser noted that globally it was an irrefutable fact that there could not be effective participation in a true democracy without an equivalent adequate representation at all levels of authority and governance
According to him, “The continual denial of the Ogoni people’s representation at these levels smacks of discrimination, injustice, political impunity and is antithetical to the practice of genuine and inclusive democracy”.