Ijaw/Itsekiri Leadership Crisis: Save Us from Injustice and Marginalization, Egbema Communities Tell Okowa
—We cannot be slaves in our land
—Wants 50-50 sharing of political positions
The people of Egbema communities, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta state has called on Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa to save them from unprecedented marginalization, injustices and other abnormalities meted to them by the Itsekiris.
The communities stated this in a release issued by Egbema Communities Peace Development and Humanitarian Rights Association (ECPDAHRA) dated 2nd October, 2017, jointly signed by the group’s national coordinator, Comr. Mike Tiemo and made available to GbaramatuVoice.
Going down memory lane, the communities said that Warri North Local Government Area is made up of the Egbemas and the Itsekiris and was created on the 27th of August, 1991.
Continuing, they stressed that they have not benefitted anything politically as the itsekiris are in the habit of cornering the democracy dividends that accrued to the local government.
The above, the communities said is happening despite being the host and the operational base of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Elcrest E&P Nigeria Limited and other new operators about to commence massive operations soonest in the vicinity.
According to ECPDHRA, Egbema Kingdom is an oil and gas producing communities, with flow stations and platforms such as the Opuama flow station, Opukeuba, and Alero to mention but a few located in their communities, adding that they are contributing to the nation’s economy in no small ways.
But in spite of all these, we are severely suffering politically and developmentally as we are visibly lacking in human capital development, capacity building, no award of scholarships to Egbema indigenes etc, the release added.
Going analytical, Comr. Tiemo stressed that Warri North Local Government Council is made up (20) Wards in the Council out of which eleven (11) belongs to the Itsekiris while the Egbemas has nine (9) Wards.
But with the above structure, Egbema Ijaws indigene have never occupied the chairmanship position of the council or represented the council at the Delta State House of Assembly, the same they claimed is playing out with both the commissionership and Federal House of Representatives positions.
To further buttress their claim on marginalization, they pointed out that in the council the labour force of a total of three hundred and sixty (360), the Ijaws are not up to thirty (30) in numbers.
Speaking in the same manner, the communities reiterated their belief that for sustainable peaceful existence and promotion of harmonious relationship in the local council, political appointments and elective positions should be shared on an equal basis between them and the Itsekiris.
The Egbema communities further proffered that even presently some positions should be swapped between them and the Itsekiris or made rotational, as they cannot be slaves in their land, the release added.
Some of those positions include but not limited to; party chairmanship position goes to the Itsekiris, local council chairmanship will move to the Egbema-Ijaws.
In the same token, the communities opined that the Itsekiris should retain the Delta state House of Assembly position while the commissionership position comes to them among other demands.
The statement as released therefore called on the State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa to use his good office to correct these abnormalities.
Speaking further, Tiemo reassured the Governor of their support and believe in his leadership prowess, but quickly added that he should come to their rescue as that will guarantee peace and their continuous support.
Below is the copy of the letter made available to GbaramatuVoice