Our attention has been drawn to an online reports on the 11th December, 2016 attacking Pa Clark and Pan Niger Delta Development Forum, PANDEF by some ITSEKIRI middle some interlopers looking for cheap political recognition and fame in president Buhari’s administration.
Itsekiri Leaders Of Thought, ILOT, in several fora has indicated interest for recognition in PANDEF, It seem they are not be given such recognition and that is why they are attacking Pa Clark and PANDEF.
ILOT clandestine approvals of military operations in Niger Delta will only add fuel to the volatile situation in the region. It is only an insane person will advice for military continues stay in the region, knowing fully well that military operation are not the solution to the current quagmire.
Except ILOT was in exile, there were series of agitations that almost engulf in Yar’adua/Janathan administration, It is wrong to say Ijaw were not agitating or making demands in Jonathan administration.
It is was the continues agitation of Tompolo and others after Yar’adua/Jonathan 2007 presidential elections that led to the bombardment of camp 5 and the entire Gbaramatu kingdom in 2009.
Thereafter, the then Government sue for peace and roll out current amnesty pack, and created Niger Delta Ministry to halt further agitation in the region.
ILOT, except they were in aloof, the agitation did not stop, it continues when late John Togo abandon the amnesty programme and went back to the creeks and engage federal troops for serious fight for not doing what was promise by Government, and Ayakoromo community in Burutu LGA was bombarded in 2010.
It is wrong to assume that during Yar’adua/Jonathan administration there was no agitation and no demands were made.
The continue agitation led to the 2014 Pro-National conference in Jonathan administration were series of issues affecting Niger Delta were addressed.
It was wrong to described WARRI as ITSEKIRI kingdom, It is only part of it that falls in ITSEKIRI purported kingdom, IJAWS were the original owners of WARRI, the history of ITSEKIRI existence in Warri begins from 1473 when Iginuwa, a son and heir apparent of Oba Olua of Bini was sent out from Benin kingdom as a result of a bad advice he gave to his father which cause the kingdom a grave damage.
Iginuwa was repatriated as a result of the Bini kingdom vow not to allow him succeed his father, he was sent out and he migrated to join the IJAWS in WARRI and latter convey by canoe ferry to Ode-ITSEKIRI by the Ijaws.
Apart from that, URHOBO has kingdom in same WARRI, there is also Ogbe-Ijoh WARRI kingdom, so it is only insane person that will describe Warri as ITSEKIRI kingdom.
The claim of Itsekiri ownership of Warri is laughable, as history clearly states how the Itsekiris migrated from Bini and was harboured by the Ijaws.
How a owner of Warri will approve its land to be militarize by security forces, a good father whatever the offence of his son will never allows his son to be crucify, rather will appeal for soft landing.
This is a classical example of the story of the two Biblical harlots where one lay false claim to the baby of her friend after killing her baby unconsciously while on sleep.
But when King Solomon inquire who among them be given title of ownership of the baby in dispute, the lady laying false claim argued that the baby be divided into two and each of them be given part.
But the other harlot who is the true owner of the baby pleaded that the baby should not be divided, instead it should be given to the other lady who is laying false claim but Solomon with his wisdom could picture out the true owner of the baby through their arguments and dispositions.
The clandestine approval of militarization of Gbaramatu kingdom by the Itsekiri Monarch is a clear indication that the Itsekiri claim of ownership of Warri is fallacious and concocted. It is our warning that peddlers of ethnic falsehoods be repented as it will only end up fuelling ethnic unrest in the region.
If they are demanding for explanation on how 13% derivation, NDDC, NDM funds were spent, they should invite also their sons former governors James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state, Omatsoli Tuyo, former Executive project director, NDDC and Hon. Daniel Reineiuju, who has being rep for 16years, representing the three Warri federal constituencies. We are in support of stewardship but the right people should be questioned.
Pa Clark is not in the right position to explain how 13%derivation, NDDC and Niger Delta ministry funds were spent, as he was never a governor, nor NDDC or NDM boss to explain how such money were spent.
No elder or Niger Delta leader are militants cronies, criticising Ijaw elders and other political leaders to look for cheap political gain in president Buhari administration is mischievous and a calculated attempt to destroy the peace already sustained in the region. All what they are saying is false and hypocritical; President Buhari and the general public should disregard such mere blackmails.
No Itsekiri or Benin land is included in the propose Toru-ebe state, if it is correct that somebody who first deforest a land that owns it, then Ijaw are the historical owners of all lands in WARRI and its environs.
It is wrong to say that the 16 Point demands of PANDEF presented to Mr president are Ijaw oriented, Most of the demands where influenced by their son Pa Jemine. ILOT goofed; if they want to identify with PANDEF they should quietly do so.
The demand for oil bloc is not out of place, there is nothing wrong, if owners of oil are given a right to own an oil bloc.
Equally, It is imperative to say that military operations in Niger delta are over bearing and it should be reduced. It is not wrong to say that military high presence be reduced, because if the military are not cautious with their current operations in Niger delta region, it will end up inflaming the volatile situation.
We deem fit to swiftly respond to Itsekiri leaders of thought, ILOT following our keen observation on their fallacious claims and clandestine approval of militarization of Gbaramatu Kingdom on national dailies to continue trample on the rights of innocent citizens, ferry passengers, movement on the waterways and inhabitants are totally unacceptable and hypocritical, because in as much Nigerian government refused to see reason to develop Niger Delta, there is bound of agitations, and so long oil and gas remain, destruction of oil and gas national assets are expected.
Wherefore, we categorically make bold to say that a meaningful peace can’t be achieved by continual militarization of the region, more so at often times military might only display unprofessionalism, bias and miss-management of sensitive security issues by converting it to a cave of exploiting ferry marine boat passengers and residents of host communities in the region.
We are emphatically appealing to president Buhari to disregard ILOT earlier petition calling on military continue stay in Gbaramatu kingdom, especially now that peace is alluded in Niger Delta. Catching as person on Ijaw leaders is a sign of disrespect by ITSEKIRI study group and ILOT, Ijaws are the most partitioned tribe in Nigeria and the most enslaved, and despite they produced highest quantity of oil and gas that fed the nation.
Ijaws are only interested in the welfare of their fellow Niger Deltans and has no special interest to protect. They have being agitating since or before independence and it is obvious to say that it is aimed at attacking Buhari’s government.
Jointly Signed By:
Comrade Austin Ozobo
National President &
Mayor Timi Ogobiri Acting
Spokesman Ijaw People’s
Development Initiative, IPDI