Dr Innocent Bariate Barikor, a lecturer with the Department of Political Science/ Administration, University of Port Harcourt, has emerged as the Rivers State All Progressives Congress APC, Deputy Governorship Candidate and running mate to Arc. Tonye Cole, the Party’s Gubernatorial Candidate, for the 2023 elections.
Dr. Barikor, an Ogoni indigene from Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State and a former House of Assembly member, who represeted Gokana Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, was reportedly adopted unanimously by Rivers APC leaders and stakeholders, at a meeting held at the residence of former Transportation Minister and leader of the APC in the State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, in Abuja.
Dr. Innocent Bariate Barikor, who served in the Rivere State House of Assembly from 2011 – 2015, received his doctoral degree in Political Science with emphasis on development studies from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
He lectured at the Rivers State College of Education and served as a supervisor at the Gokana local government council, before crossing over to the University of Port Harcourt to continue his academic career until 2010, when attained the position of Senior Lecturer in Political Science.
Dr. Barikor was appointed Rivers State Coordinator of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) by the President of Nigeria in 2014 and during his tenure, he developed and supervised innovative poverty reduction programmes such as COPE, Village Economic Development Solutions, Promise Keeper programme and others which have impacted on the Nigeria’s rural poor.
In 2007, Dr. Barikor led the Grassroots Empowerment Network (GEN) delegation to the South Africa Investment Summit held in Durban.
Hon. Dr. Innocent B. Barikor also served as the Rivers State Chairman, State Selection Committee (SSC), Special Public Works (SPW) program by the Federal Government’s 774,000 post-Coronavirus jobs Committee by President Buhari; a no-qualifications needed initiative of the Federal Government, funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to assist Nigerians in mitigating against the pandemic, with a three-month engagement, between October-December, 2020. Each local government was reportedly allotted 1,000.
As a development consultant, he has worked for numerous organizations including the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), where he consulted on the Agency’s Cassava Project between 2007 and 2008.
He also has served as Chairman of the Board of the Grassroots Empowerment Network and is expected to bring his vast experience and network as a renowned grassroots mobizer, into his new responsibility, as he pairs with Arch. Tonye Cole on the APC Rivers joint ticket for the Governorship election in 2023