CHINEDU WOSU, YENAGOA
Ahead of the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa state, the people of Epie-Atissa Kingdom in Yenagoa Local Government Area have commenced moves towards producing the next governor.
The community said they have remained underdeveloped despite hosting the state capital since over 21 years of its creation in 1996.
The Epie Atisa community announced this at the first Epie-Atissa Leaders Conference held in the state capital under the auspices of Coalition of Epie-Atissa Leaders (CEAL) with the theme, “Strategies towards Achieving an Epie-Atissa Governor-A Paradigm Shift”.
The people are anchoring their governorship quest on the campaign slogan, “It Is Our Turn”, as the hosts of the state capital,Yenagoa.
In a keynote address at the conference, Professor Chabovie Menizibeya Sorgwe, a lecturer with the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, noted that Epie-Atissa had remained underdeveloped despite hosting the state capital.
The lecturer asserted that “Yenagoa is the only state capital of the peoples’ choice without a tertiary institution” apart from being the first town in present Bayelsa to have two secondary schools.
Hear Sorgwe, “Is it not pathetic to hear? Are we not touched? Perhaps, the sin of Yenagoa is that Epie-Atissa has not produced a governor in the state”.
Sorgwe, who is an indigene of Epie Atisa, therefore, suggested six strategic options to realize the goal including but not limited to unity of purpose, sensitization, education, selection of credible candidates, confiding in the educated elite and non-neglect of God.
Speaking at the event, Traditional Ruler of Yenaka Community and President General of CEAL, Chief Ovie Omeleh, said the campaign approach would be based on non-violence, faith, prayers, spreading the vision, soliciting support, a paradigm shift and creating partnerships.
Omeleh said that Epie-Atissa had in the past supported the other major political blocs of Ijaw, Nembe and Ogbia to produce governors and deputy governors, and expressed the hope that they would also back the kingdom’s agenda for 2019.
Recall that since the creation of Bayelsa state in 1996, only persons that are from Ogbia, Ijaw and Nembe axis have produced the governor of the state as the Epie Atisa extraction are yet to taste the number one position of the state.