Delta Commissioners’ List: Egbema Ijaw in Warri North tackles Oborevwori over exclusion, demands immediate reversal
….threatens shutdown of oil operations
The Egbema people of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta state, has accused the Delta state governor, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori of deliberating excluding people of the area in the nomination of commissioner-designates in the state, adding that the action was not only unjust but a deliberate strategy to keep the Ijaws of Warri North under other ethnic group in the local government area.
The group also demanded from the state governor immediate reversal of the obnoxious decision and in its place appoint without delay an Egbema Ijaw into the State Executive Council, as well as convene a meeting of Egbema Leaders to resolve the impasse.
This was contained in a release issued at the end of a Press Conference held on Monday July 24, 2023, in Warri and jointly addressed on behalf of the group by Barr. Francis Abulu, leadership of Egbema Integrity Group (EIG); Comrade City Kelvin Eferusua, President Egbema Youth Council ( EYC) and Mr. Ekpokeme Governor, Secretary, Egbema Youth Council, EYC.
According to the group, “Justice demands that if an appointment of a Commissioner from Warri North should be considered, then that person must be an Ijaw. This, they added, was 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 Commissioner for six months.
The statement further alleged that the Egbema people have suffered political oppression and injustice in Warri North Local Government Area for too long.
While it argued that the Ijaw of Warri North have been denied the position of House of Assembly Member since 1991 when the Local Government Council was created, they stressed that the latest 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.
Read full statement below:
“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.
“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 Exceutive Council. Not until toward the end of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s second term in office was an Ijaw, Hon. Joel Bisina, made Commissioner for six months!
“We the Egbema people have suffered political oppression and injustice in Warri North Local Government Area for too long. The Ijaw 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. 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 happen to come form 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 he 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 Peoples Democratic Party (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 made?
“What we see is that the governor is pleasing two contending forces of 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 offence crying to Heaven for redress and roundly condemnable* .
“We demand to know the rationale for this unholy decision. The action of the Governor violates Chapter II, Section 14 subsection 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The two Commissioners Nominees are: Ms. Erode Uduaghan and Dr. Isaac Wiliky, both Itsekiris from Warri North. Injustice is the bedrock of political conflict. Where the likes of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Ejele (Diden) want everything, they should be courageous enough to demand their own homogeneous local government. We can only vote to increase their voting strength but not good for appointment!?
1. Reverse the decision and appoint an Egbema Ijaw into the State Exceutive Council;
2. Converne a meeting of Egbema Leaders to resolve the impasse, whichever comes first.
As a major Oil Producing Kingdom, we are host to Opuekeba Flowstation operated by Chvroven, with production capacity of 20,000 barrels per day;
ii. Opuama Flotation operated by NPDCL, with production capacity of 18,000 barrels per day;
III. Chvroven Nigeria Limited in (RMP 17) Olero Field;
IV. CONOIL Producing Limited OML 103 (undergoing drilling).
Consequently, 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.
Where there is injustice, rebellion is a lawful duty. Thank you for your time and and attention.