Published On: Tue, Jan 9th, 2018


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Ijaw People Development Initiative -IPDI


Press Release



8th January, 2018

It is pertinent to note that Okerenkoko is the original name of where the Nigeria Maritime University is sited and any Itsekiri fighting to rename Okerenkoko and Nigeria Maritime University will be crushed. You cannot give a name that does not belong to us and you expect us to accept it. That is a capital NO, because we are not known by Okerenghigho but Okerenkoko and for the purpose of record, Okerenkoko is never being disputed in any legal tussle. Okerenkoko and Okerenghigho is not same name and Okerenkoko is not corrupted name of Okerenghigho, the whole should note.

We wish to state unequivocally and reiterate that Okerenkoko is the Original name of where the Nigeria Maritime University is located. There is no time Okerenkoko is called Okerenghigho. No community in Gbaramatu kingdom is referred as Okerenghigho. Okerenkoko is made of Ijaw only. There is no trace of Itsekiri in Okerenkoko. Attempt to rename our community is suicidal and dangerous. We are Ijaw People and can never bear Itsekiri identify. This is an attempt of slavery. I have not seen in anywhere in the world where a particular identity of a people is renamed to bear the identify of another ethnic background. The action of AGF Malami is retrogressive and may likely put those few Itsekiris fighting to rename Okerenkoko and Nigeria Maritime University at cross- road. We are not scared about the inimical Memo. We have been pushed to the wall, but Ijaws are not afraid of WAR.

It is so unfortunate that deliberate attempts are being made by AGF Malami to ignite fire where there is none. We want President Buhari to call AGF Malami and the cabal at the corridor of power to order. It is not only curious and spurious, but surprising how Malami came up with his jaundice memo that is meant to instigate crisis between the Ijaws of Gbaramatu kingdom and our Itsekiri neighbors. We believe Malami memo is what is known in political parlance as voice of Jacob and hand of Esau. Those trying to fan the ember of bloodbath among people of Delta State in order to justify security allocation should desist; else Gbaramatu Ijaws will crush such a people.

Ordinarily, we are not ready for any confrontation with our Itsekiri neighbors, but those few Itsekiris and government officials in connival will regret their action soon.  Meanwhile, people should not forget the harrowing atmosphere that pervaded Warri and its environ in 1996, when late General Sani Abacha relocated Warri South-West local government headquarters from Ogbe-Ijoh, (Ijaw) town to Ogidigben, an Itsekiri town under the prompting of a cabal in the presidency then. What is playing out now is a reminiscent of that shameful episode which caused massive destruction to lives and properties. At this junction, we would like to ask, do we wish for a repetition of such magnitude calamities again?  The so called Supreme Court judgment that Malami pontificate on is not known to us, neither does it conform to present day realities. Any attempt to change or rename Okerenkoko identity will fail.

It is disheartening that AGF could fall so cheaply to agent provocateurs by urging national assembly through a misleading memo that Nigeria Maritime University Okerenkoko should be change to Okerenghigho. We want the whole world to know that there is no community bearing this yebu yebu name in the entire Gbaramatu kingdom, but a coinage by enemies of peace to thwart the smooth take off of that University.  We equally use this medium to tell national assembly under the progressive leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki, to appropriately throw this provocative and dangerous memo to thrash can, where it rightly belongs.

Consequently, we believe that Malami is one of the reasons why there is endless crisis not only in the judiciary, but the nation in general, taking into account how he dishes out wild wild West advice to Mr. President. It is oblivious that a ploy has been orchestrated to deny us the rights and ownership of our community. It should be known to all and sundry that any attempt or attempts by any person or group of people wanting to make Maritime University Okerenkoko a still birth project, shall be resisted with every legal steps at our disposal.

Jointly Signed by

Comrade Ozobo Austin 


Comrade Daniel Ezekiel

President and spokesperson, Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative -IPDI

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