Saturday, March 6, 2021 8:13 pm
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Ahead of the 2023 general election, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party PDP, in Rivers, Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich has declared his intention to contest for the governorship of the state.
The 43- year-old agitator for the development of Niger Delta was once a strong ally to Governor Nyesom Wike, and former Caretaker Committee Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Jackrich who is also the Founder and leader of Kengema Unity Forum (KUF) and Network for Defence of Democratic and Good Governance (NDDGG) is perhaps the first politician to declare interest in succeeding Wike as the governor of Rivers State.
Popularly known as ‘Egberipapa’, Jackrich declared his intention to contest for the governorship of Rivers during the first 2021 national stakeholders’ meeting of KUF convened by the members of the Forum in the three Kalabari local government areas of Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema.
Members of the group also declared their support for his governorship while pledging that they are ready and willing to join him to make his ambition a reality in on the platform of any political party at the meeting.
National Leaders, LGA Stakeholders and others such as Chief Ogonoye John West, Hon. Obele MacHarry and Hon Alalibo Fredrick, among others, expressed their solidarity and support for their leader’s 2023 governorship ambition.
Jackrich told members of the KUF that failure of Wike’s administration to address issues of underdevelopment, job creation, lack of support for Small Medium Enterprises, poverty and poor health care infrastructures are the key things propelling his governorship ambition.
He thanked members of the Forum for their unflinching support, urging them to remain steadfast while expressing optimism that victory is assured.
Jackrich has been a regular critic of the Wike’s style of governance, with claims that the Governor has refused to include creation of employment for millions of youths in state among his priority.
Our correspondent recalls that speaking 42nd birthday reception that attracted the crème de la crème of society, he had also berated political leaders in the state for keeping quiet in the face of what he described as the ongoing ‘abnormalities’ in the governance of Rivers.
He claimed that Wike lack capacity to entrench a sincere, transparent and all-inclusive leadership class that will unite the diverse ethnic group and place the state path of unity, peace, and progress.
He had also condemned the governor over alleged denigration of the highly revered traditional institution.
“Rivers state needs a credible leader that is God-fearing, one that feels the pulse of the people; not one that is vindictive, sentimental and arrogant like our governor has continued to demonstrate”, he said.
He had also called for transparency in the construction of the Trans Kalabari road project that would traverse the three local government area of Kalabari.
He warned that the Kalabari people will embark on protest if the governor failed to make the contract sum of the road public for the purpose of transparency.
It is not yet clear under which political platform he would test his popularity.