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Delta Commissioners List: Egbema Ijaws To Stop Oil Companies Over Exclusion

By Onomiguren Agbamu

The Ijaws in the Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State represented by the leadership of Egbema Integrity Group (EIG) and Egbema Youth Council (EYC) on Monday, protest against Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s Commissioner-nominees to represent the area in the State Executive Council.

According to FocalPoint Report, ” The ethnic group expressed anger, stating that the two Commissioner-nominees from the LGA are Itsekiris “while the Ijaws are left with nothing to contend with in the State Cabinet”.

“The Ijaws made their grievances known in Warri during a press briefing jointly addressed in Warri by Barr. Francis Abulu of Egbema Integrity Group and the duo of Comrade City Kelvin Eferusua and Mr. Ekpokeme Governor, President, and Secretary respectively of Egbema Youth Council.

The group, said “Justice demands that if an appointment of a Commissioner from Warri North should be considered, then that person must be an Ijaw. This is because, since the creation of Warri North Local Government Area, it has always been Itsekiri occupying the position at the State Executive Council. Not until toward the end of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s second term in office was an Ijaw, Hon. Joel Bisina, made a Commissioner for six months!”

“The Ijaws demanded to know the rationale behind the Governor’s action arguing that it “violates Chapter II, Section 14 Subsection 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”.

“Consequently, the group declared, “If we are not good enough to be where our God-given wealth will be shared in the State, we will do all within our powers legally to halt oil operations, where this monumental injustice is not addressed”.

The presentation of the Ijaw group read partly, “The news of the nomination of names for Commissioners and members of Delta State Executive Council by the Delta State Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, should ordinarily be a thing of joy but for the Egbema people of Warri North Local Government Area, it signifies a sad day.

“We the Egbema people have suffered political oppression and injustice in Warri North Local Government Area for too long. The Ijaws of Warri North have been denied the position of House of Assembly Member since 1991 when the Local Government Council was created (inclusive of the inception of democracy in 1999) till date.

“Against this background, we – indeed every lover of justice – had no reason to doubt if a governor, whose emergence was only by divine grace, would give serious thought to addressing the Egbema political situation; yet not so!

“Egbema Leaders wrote the Governor, H.E. Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, a letter for a meeting but it was not considered, apparently because we are only good at turning in our votes massively during elections but cannot share in the proceeds therefrom. The disposition of the Governor in alienating the Ijaws of Warri North from executive office shows he does not understand the political calibration of the State he is voted to govern.

“Warri North comprises the Itsekiris and Ijaws who are equal stakeholders in the Local Government Area. It would have been a thoughtful act to appoint two Commissioners from the Local Government inhabited by two ethnic groups of equal footing to achieve political balance but, sadly, the two Commissioners selected by the Governor happened to come from one of the two groups and the other ethnic group is told to go to hell!

“This action of the Governor is clearly to perpetuate and escalate the political overpowering of the Ijaws of Warri North so that they can be kept under by the other ethnic group in the Local Government Area.

“The votes that Governor Oborevwori got in Warri North did not come from the Itsekiris alone. It was a collective Vote! The Ijaw four Federal Wards as against Itsekiri six Federal Wards were claimed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Ijaws overwhelmingly voted for H.E. Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as Governor. So, on what basis was this decision to exclude the Ijaw completely in Warri North made?

“What we see is that the Governor is pleasing two contending forces of the Itsekiri ethnic group, between the former Gov. Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Michael Diden (a.k.a. Ejele) whose case is in the tribunal, by unwittingly making the Ijaws the guinea pig or scapegoat. We are, and remain, equal owners and stakeholders of the Council area with four wards! So, rewarding a people with six wards with two Commissioners without considering the people with four wards is an act of injustice, a heinous offense crying to the Heavens for redress and roundly condemnable”.

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