…Say they are in Support of Nigerian Maritime University Okerenkoko.
The people of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have told President Muhammadu Buhari that the recent visit of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli to him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja was nothing but a sham just as they restated their total support for the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
President Buhari last Friday in Abuja met Olu of Warri and he promised more goodies for the Niger Delta Region.
But in a Petition to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, the people described the visit as a sham and deceitful aimed at covering up alleged atrocities carried out against the people of Ode Ugborodo on February 11, 2018.
The petition to the President was signed by Hon Thomas Metseagharun (The Toritsemogha of Ugborodo Community) and Pastor William Agbajor (The Balogun of Ugborodo Land).
According to them; “Mr President, we the peace loving people of Ugborodo Community want to let you know that the visit of the Olu of Warri and his entourage to you on Friday, February 23, 2018 is a sham and deceitful in order to cover up the atrocities committed against the people at Ode Ugborodo on February 11, 2018 by Chief Ayiri Emani, the Ologbotsere of Warri and his co-travellers who have been causing mayhem, arson, killings, vandalization of property and looting in the area with the help of illegal Military, Police, ethnic militias and hired thugs. Mr President, they have brought untold hardship to the people and you have been deceived by the visit of the Olu and his entourage”.
“Mr President, there have been reoccurring incidents of this manner over four times in this Ugborodo Community where the Olaja-Orori, Dube Omadeli is the head and leader of the people, where four persons- Chief Ayiri Emani, Chief Ereyitomi Thomas, Mr David Tonwe and Tuoyo Omatsuli and their cronies will not allow our Communities of Ode Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Mandagho and their environs to know peace for the past Thirteen years”.
“These communities are underdeveloped because choice contracts such as Madangho to Ogidigben shoreline protection contract awarded to Chief Ayiri Emani, the Ologbotsere of Warri for multi million Naira without execution and Ode Ugborodo shoreline protection was also abandoned. Mr President, few persons who have turned themselves into money bags and political hawks are milking our Communities dry. We the people of Ugborodo Community are deeply worried over the way things are going. We are being subjected to unnecessary hindrances when God has blessed us so much. All agents of destabilization should leave Ugborodo area alone. Chief Ayiri and his co-travellers disturbing the peace of Ugborodo should be called to order by the Federal Government”.
They called on the President to prevail on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to investigate the raid on Ugborodo Community, allegedly masterminded by Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbosere of Warri kingdom, an action which they claimed led to the death of three persons in the community on February 11, 2018.
They alleged that Chief Ayiri in company of heavily armed Police, Nigeria Army and hired mercenaries numbering more than 50 patrolled Ugborodo in gunboats and suddenly there were sporadic gunshots which caused panic, pandemonium and everybody ran into the bush for fear of being killed in the ensuing gunfire.
They claimed that three persons were instantly gun down and others in the process of escaping, sustained different degrees of life threatening injuries.
They claimed also that the house of the Olaja-Orori of Ugborodo Community, Benson Dube Omadeli was set ablaze following the alleged instructions dished out to the hired mercenaries by Ayiri, who massively damaged the house under construction in the community.
They alleged that the property belonging to the National Youth President of Ugborodo Community, Mr. Ofe Penda Nene, were destroyed and others set ablaze.
They further alleged that the property of Richard Arubi and Williams Agbajor were also not spared as they were equally destroyed and set ablaze in Ugborodo community.
They claimed that Ayiri based his actions on the ground that Omadeli declared himself the king of the community, hence the raid on his people.
According to them, Ugborodo is an autonomous Community in Warri South West Local Government Area and host to many oil firms and has been existing since the 13th century, saying that; “It predates Giniwa, the first Olu of Itsekiri, then also the Colonial Masters and our present day Nigeria where the present head and spiritual leader, Dube Omadeli, the Olaja-Orori of Ugborodo land, Suoo V 1 and his people are autonomous Community.
“Ugborodo is an autonomous community. We have been in existence since 13 AD. It is the oldest community in this area and we are not under anybody. The leadership of this community is under the leadership of the Olaja-Orori under the leadership of Benson Dube Omadeli. Because of the wealth found in this community, people outside started calling us all types of negative names. There are some people who are hell bent on destroying this community. We are fighting against these agents of destruction and stabilization and we are saying that we can no longer allow people to use us again. All the people fighting us are not living in this community. You cannot change who we are. We know that we originate from Ode in Ijebu land. We are from the Yoruba lineage,” they added.
According to them; “Since the advent of oil exploration and exploitation in 1959 to date, the whole ecosystem both land and water have been polluted and degraded. Our lovely means of livelihood of fishing and farming are gone. We do not have good water, no electricity, no schools, no hospitals, no houses, no means of transportation and other necessary modern social amenities are lacking, yet some few individuals have enriched themselves at the detriment of the people and their communities”.
“Mr President, we are in total support of the Nigerian Maritime University already located in our next door neighbour of Gbaramatu Kingdom and this our support for the University is making those in Warri area to be angry against Ugborodo land and Gbaramatu Kingdom. The establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko will bring rapid development to the area and the entire Niger Delta Region. We are next door neighbours and nobody can come between us”, they said.