Published On: Thu, Jan 19th, 2017


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The claim by the Itsekiri Ethnic nationality that they are the owners of Okerenkoko Community where the Maritime University situates is an unnecessary detraction. To us, that is an agenda designed to cause friction between the Ijaws of Gbaramatu kingdom and the Itsekiri nation. We cannot be claiming who owns this and who owns that at this trying time. That era of primordial ownership claim has gone for good. We did not see any basis for one ethnic group to pitch tent with another over an issue that has no bearing. The Itsekiri should not be prosecuting such clannish agenda which end product will only result to inter-tribal crisis. Now that the various ethnic groups in the region have come together to chat a common cause, we should eschew our individual differences for the collective interest of the region.

We are worried that the Itsekiri Ethnic group presented such baseless and confusing demand at a time the Federal Government is embarking on a peace mission to the region. Of all the times, why they chose the Vice President’s visit to the region as the right time to present their case? When the land was acquired by the Federal and the Delta State Governments during the last administration, why didn’t they protest? Were the Itsekiris sleeping then? It appears the Itsekiris are on hand with the enemies of the region to deny the Niger Delta people of our right to development.

Our worries became compounded at the position advanced to the Government by the revered Itsekiri Monarch. The Olu of Warri should not have joined his subjects to issue that vexatious claim. That is a clear aberration of his position as a member of PANDEF. We are quite aware that the Olu of Warri during his coronation promised that he will use his reign to promote inter-ethnic cohesion and harmony among ethnic groups in the region, especially in Delta State. His position on the Maritime University issue is averse to his promised peace. Let us shun act that will take us back to our red letter days. Those Itsekiri-based non-governmental organisations that are denouncing PANDEF as the umbrella body to represent the region in the proposed dialogue should also have a rethink. We have no better platform to agitate for our right other than the united forum of the ethnic nationalities in the region. As it stands, PANDEF is that forum which has membership of prominent Itsekiri Leaders. We are calling on the Movement for the Protection of Iwere Homeland and the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILOT) to rescind their self-seeking moves. It will not do the region any good if we begin to exchange banters, while we have a common enemy to confront. We believe that history can remind the Itsekiri people of what happened to the Ijaws, the Itsekiris, the Isokos and the Urhobos in 1991 during the creation of Delta State. Let us avoid the 1991 mistake in Delta State.

Alaowei Cleric Esq.
National President.


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