The Rivers PDP Third Force Movement, a political movement mobilising for unity, peace and equity in the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, to apply the same standards used in Adamawa, Akwa Ibom and other States to Rivers State by applying the zoning principle in picking the governorship candidate of the PDP in Rivers State in the next election.
In a statement in Port Harcourt General Secretary of the body, Oprite Amachree, while congratulating the party leaders for their deft handling of the situation in Akwa Ibom State leading to the zoning of the governorship slot to Eket Senatorial District for the purpose of equity and justice, said that the same arrangement should prevail in Rivers State and other states in the federation.
Backing his call for zoning with facts of history, he stated that Rivers State has three senatorial districts and had since 1999 zoned the governorship position to both the Rivers West and Rivers East senatorial districts but now left with Rivers South East as the legitimate zone to have its turn in the 2015 general election and that it is a moral imperative to do so.
Amachree, who noted that the zoning principle was a foundational value in the party as envisioned by the founding fathers, urged the party leaders to look inwards and take a realistic decision that could help the party to win Rivers State for the PDP rather than buckle at the whims of sentiments and inordinate inducements.
According to him, it is only a realistic modality which takes the yearnings and deep feelings of the people into firm account on the choices before them as we have in Rivers State that can ensure victory otherwise the affected people are likely to harbour a sense of marginalization and apathy during the election that may work against the fortunes of the PDP.
“Zoning the governorship in 2015 in Rivers State to the Rivers South East Senatorial District will be in tandem with the decision of PDP in Akwa Ibom State for equity, justice and fairness. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander”, he stated.
He further noted:”In 1999 and in strict adherence to the zoning arrangement, the Rivers West Senatorial District produced the governor in the person of Sir Peter Odili who served the constitutional two terms between 1999 and 2007. From 2007 to 2015, the next senatorial district, Rivers East, produced the governor in the person of Sir Celestine Omehia, who was later replaced by the incumbent governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and who will complete his constitutional two terms of eight years in May 2015. Both Sir Omehia and Rt Hon. Amaechi hail from the same Ikwerre ethnic nationality. For 2015, the next senatorial district to produce the governor, no doubt, must be the Rivers South East”.
Calling on President Jonathan-himself a beneficiary of the zoning principle, the PDP National Chairman and other leaders of the party to allow reason and wisdom to prevail in solving the clamour for zoning in the state, Amachree also sounded out the negative consequence to do otherwise in respect of effect on the forthcoming elections.
“We thank the leadership of our party for providing the guide for solving the issue of zoning as we have in Akwa Ibom and Adamawa State. We most respectfully urge and advice Mr.President, our leader and Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu and the National Working Committee (NWC) to apply the same rule nationwide, particularly in Rivers State where of the three senatorial districts, two enjoyed the existing zoning arrangement in the state and it is naturally the right of the third senatorial district, the Rivers South East, to produce the governor in 2015 which would be more equitable, fair and transparent for PDP to guarantee victory for Mr. President’s ‘re-election, governorship election and indeed all the other elections in the state. Of course, it will be suicidal not to follow the Akwa Ibom and Adamawa example in Rivers State, particularly against the backdrop of majority opinion that an Ikwerre person cannot succeed the outgoing governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is also from Ikwerre”.