By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
An elaborate Ijaw National Merit Award (INMA) recently organized by the Proudly Ijaw Indigenes of Nigeria (PIIN) , a socio-cultural group on Friday 22nd December, 2017, where the Executive Governor of Bayelsa state, His Excellency, Henry Seriake Dickson, GbaramatuVoice Newspaper among others received different awards has again renewed the need for unity among the Ijaw nation.
GbaramatuVoice, after looking at the ambiance and the joy of brotherliness as demonstrated at the occasion by the Ijaw people from different works of life and from different states in the region, has again taken it upon itself to raise the consciousness among the various Ijaw traditional rulers on the need to form a formidable body that will see to, and regulate the affairs of the Ijaw nation as well as provide a platform that will enable the Ijaw nation to speak in one voice at all levels.
This became necessary as some of the socio-cultural groups formed in time past has been factionalized while others have been politicized thereby making it difficult if not impossible for these groups to act from a common front.
Very good examples of such group that have either been factionalized or politicized may include but not limited to; the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and a host of others.
The above makes it imperative that the traditional rulers from the region, who are apolitical by the virtue of their positions, to come together irrespective of their states to form this umbrella body that will see to the day-to-day affairs of the common good of the Ijaw people.
While this is important is that leaving it in the hands of the politicians, be it the governors or other highly placed politicians will see these bodies being exploited for their selfish interest and personal aggrandizement.
Again, it is our views that if the Igbos should have the Ohaneze-Ndi-Igbo; the Yorubas, the Omo-Oduduwa; and the Hausa, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) among others, it will not be out of place if our traditional rulers from Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, and Rivers should come together to form such a body.
It is the newspapers opinion that if such a body is formed in the Ijaw nation, it will help to foster unity, promote brotherliness and neighborliness as well as provide a platform where the Ijaw nation will speak on issues of national discourse and cohesion.
In the same manner, if such a body is formed, it will act as a clearing house for other groups and associations in the Ijaw land such as the Ijaw Youth Council and others where they can settle whatever differences they are faced with.
In the same vein, we are quite convinced as a corporate organization that if a medium-sized organization such as the Proudly Ijaw Indigenes of Nigeria (PIIN) can put up such a showing that brought together well-meaning Ijaw people, forming an umbrella body that will run the affairs of the Ijaw nation will not be a herculean task for our revered traditional rulers.
The right time in our views to form such a body is now as 2019 general election is around the corner.
We, therefore, call on all the traditional rulers of Ijaw origin to start thinking along this axis of incubating, nurturing and sustaining an umbrella body that will see to the affairs of the people in the region as well interface on their behalf at the state, federal and international levels.