Rivers 2019: Reconcile Amaechi and Abe, Ogoni apex body begs President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gladis Nweke

Port-Harcourt — The president of the apex socio-cultural and political organisation of the Ogoni ethnic group, KAGOTE, has called on president Mohamadu Buhari to intervene in the feud between the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and the lawmaker representing Rivers Southeast Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, ahead of 2019 elections.

President of KAGOTE, Peter Medee, of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), made the call in an exclusive interview with the theportcitynews.com yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Mr. Medee said that besides seeking President Buhari’s intervention, letters were also sent to Amaechi and the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.

Wike allegedly granted the request for a courtesy visit, and approved the upgrade of the state-owned Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori-Ogoni, to the University of Environment.

Medee disclosed that KAGOTE’s request to pay Buhari a courtesy visit has been delivered in Abuja by a prominent Ogoni leader, although no date has been fixed for the visit.

The group, however, said that it wishes to meet President Buhari before the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to ensure peace in Rivers State and put an end to the face-off between Amaechi and Abe.

The group’s acronym, KAGOTE, derived from the four Local Government Areas (LGA) in Ogoni: Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme, was founded in 1947 when Ogoni’s separate administrative division was created from Opobo. It gave birth in 1990, to the umbrella organisation of Ogoni people, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), which was formed to carry out the objectives in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR), adopted on August 26, 1990 by Ogoni people at Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoniland Mr. Meede said.

The transportation minister, Amaechi, who hails from Ubima in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers state, is a former governor of the state (2007-2015) and an ex- Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly (1999-2007), while Abe, a former Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), when Amaechi was governor, is an indigene of Bera-Ogoni in Gokana LGA.

Wike, a former Minister of State for Education and ex-Chief of Staff to Amaechi, hails from Rumueprikom in Obio/Akpor LGA and is seeking reelection in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Abe, a governorship aspirant of the APC in 2015, wishes to take over from Wike in May 29 next year, on APC’s platform.

Amaechi, however, is pushing for a riverine person as the governorship candidate of the APC in 2019, since upland persons had been governor since 1999 (Dr. Peter Odili, Sir Celestine Omehia, Amaechi and Wike), while Ogoni leaders are insisting that since the creation of Rivers state on May 27, 1967, no Ogoni person has become governor, deputy governor, speaker of the House of Assembly or chief judge of the state. According to them, this injustice and marginalization of the area rich in crude oil and gas must now be addressed.