…Says Appointment Of Two Commissioners From Warri North Without Including An Ijaw Man Is An Act of Injustice
“The news of the Commissioners designate by the Delta State government ordinarily, should be a thing of joy but for the Egbema people of Warri North, it is a sad day,” Barr. Francis Abulu, said in a statement, while reacting to the list of cabinet members submitted to the State Assembly by Governor Sheriff Oborevwor.
Abulu who spoke on behalf of the Egbema Integrity Group (EIG), added that “justice demands that if there should be an appointment of a Commissioner from Warri North, then that person must be an Ijaw.”
Adding: “This is because, since the creation of Warri North Local Government Area it has always been Itsekiris occupying the position at the State Exceutive Council. Not until toward the end of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s second tenure that an Ijaw, Hon. Joel Bisina was made Commissioner for six months.”
The statement reads further: “We the Egbema people have suffered political injustice in Warri North 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. We thought that a governor whose emergence was only by divine grace would give a thought to the Egbema political situation, yet not so! Egbema Leaders wrote the governor, H.E. Sheriff Oborevwori, a letter for a meeting yet, it was not considered because we are only good at voting but cannot share from the proceed 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. 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 appointed by the governor happen to come form one of the groups and the other ethnic group is told to go to hell. This action by the governor is 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 he got in Warri North did not come from only the Itsekiris. The Ijaw Four Federal Wards as against Itsekiri six Federal wards where owned by PDP. The Ijaws overwhelmingly voted for H.E. Sheriff Oborevwori as governor. So on what basis was this decision to exclude the Ijaw completely in Warri North come from?
“What we see is that, the governor pleasing two contending forces of Itsekiri ethnic group, between the former Gov. Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Michael Diden ( AKA Ejele) whose case is in the tribunal by unwittingly making the Ijaws the guinea pig! We are equal owners of the council with four wards. So, you reward a people with six wards with two Commissioners without considering the people with four wards is an act of injustice and condemnable. What’s the reasonale for this decision?
“We had earlier alerted Nigerians of the Itsekiri policy that is akin to the South Africa Apartheid era and what the Governor has done is now to affirm it as a State policy in Warri North.
“Consequently, I call on sons and daughters of Egbema to come out in the days and weeks to protest it with every means legitimate. The Egbema Integrity group cannot guarantee the smooth operation of Oil companies in our area anymore as this action has overheated the fragile peace we are experiencing in Warri North. We have consistently assured our people that are agitated by the injustice in our area that this administration will make a difference. But what we have seen is even worse than previous administrations. So, we are in doubt our people can allow oil operations to go on smoothly. This unjust decision must not go unchallenged by all lovers of Justice.”