Why the Upland/Riverine dichotomy is a wrong approach to power by Mike Wabali

It was Rev Jesse Jackson who said that in politics, an organized minority is a political majority. This is why the debate on whether the majority uplands should give way for the minority riverine seems more probably a distraction at this time than ever before.

In as much as several people have disagreed, this is a sensitive matter that might plunge the state into a political crisis.

However, the majority has never voted away its rights for a minority to take over considering the fact that politics is a game of numbers and democracy as a form of government has always favoured the majority.

The uplandriverine dichotomy is wrong and the proponents of such divisive/ sentimental lines of thoughts have not sat down to think through their position before embarking on it. It will cause more damage than the problems it was presented to solve.

Agreed that the riverine areas of the state have not tasted power in a very long time but and if upland/riverine dichotomy has become the new method by which the state is classified, then it is high time we redraw the map.

Since the creation of Rivers State, the Ogonis have not been elected as governor, so are the Etches, the Abuas and so many other ethnic groups that make up the state and we also need to start addressing that.

Riverine is not an ethnic group or a local government. It is only a geographical map drawn by those who want to attain power through the back door without doing the necessary work. The argument falls flat on its face for several reasons.

Power is taken, not given and with the present political realities, a candidate with the political will that has the mass appeal to defeat the incumbent will be ideal.

Political parties rely on strategies and reorganization to win elections, not on sentiments. It was such a strategy and reorganization that ensured former president Goodluck Jonathan won massively in 2011. Such strategic realignment brought President Buhari to power in 2015.

Winning election is work and the proponents of the upland/riverine dichotomy were the spanner in the wheels that saw a minority Ijaw president lose election in 2015.

Allowing the people to vote their choice candidates will go a long way in stamping political consciousness in the minds of the masses. Any other excuse as to why a very unpopular candidate will be voted into power is a futile gesture.