By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—POLITICAL leaders and monarchs, including youth leaders and women, from the Epie-Atissa sub-Ijaw ethnic group in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have said that they should be allowed to produce the next governor of Bayelsa State in 2019 in the interest of fairness and equity.
According to the Epie-Atissa leaders, as hosts of the state capital and whereas other sub-ethnic groups in the state have produced either governor or deputy governor, said it was Epie-Atissa that is yet to produce a governor or deputy governor.
Coalition of Epie-Atissa Leaders, CEAL, which addressed a conference, yesterday in Yenagoa, through their leaders, were unanimous in their claim that they have been constantly marginalized in the political affairs of the state, 21 years after the state’s creation and therefore, deserved a shot at the highest political office in the state.
In his address, Professor Chabovie Sorgwe of the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, described the leadership conference as a wakeup call and expedient towards achieving the objectives of the people, stressing that the quest for an Epie Atissa governor can only be achieved through unity of purpose, sensitization, networking with other sub-groups and fielding of credible candidates across all the major political parties.
In his remarks, the convener and coordinator of the Coalition of Epie-Atissa Leaders, CEAL, Chief Ovie Omeleh, said that the group was a child of necessity and due to the marginalization meted on the people of Epie-Atissa in the state over time and urged other groups in the state to support and rally round them in the interest of brotherhood.