Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, asserts that Opobo people are integral to the Ijaw struggle, emphasizing his identity as a true Ijaw son.
Fubara stated this when he met with the Regent and other representatives of Kalabari Se Kobiri at Government House, Port Harcourt, on Friday,
Fubara dismissed insinuations in some quarters that labeled him as a non-Ijaw, saying such persons were not conversant with the history of the struggle that made Ijaw a reputable class of people.
This was contained in a statement issued by the media aide to the governor, Boniface Onyedi.
The statement quoted the governor as saying, “So, whoever is feeding you with that information should go back to their history classes. You cannot talk about the Ijaw struggle without the Opobo, the Bonny, and the Kalabari.
“We had our trade lines at that time and for you to occupy a trade line, it means you are a true Ijaw man. So, for the records, I am a full blooded, up to my bones, an Ijaw man.”
Fubara said Ijaw people are bold, courageous, and forthright people who, despite being subjected to inhuman treatment, did not succumb to being traded as slaves during the slave trade.
He emphasised that he has one cardinal belief, which is that it is only the will of God that prevails in every circumstance, whether good or bad, winning or failing.
Condoling the Kalabari people over the demise of their monarch, late King Theophilus J.T. Princewill, the governor assured them that the state government will participate in the burial activities while urging the people to put their differences aside and work together to give the late king a befitting burial.
In his speech, the regent of Kalabari kingdom, Dr. Charles Princewill, said they were in Government House to notify the governor that Theophilus J.T. Princewill, Amachree XI, the Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of the Kalabari Kingdom has died and formally invite him to attend the funeral.
He thanked Fubara for the support already given to them and solicited for more.
On his part, Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, said
Fubara has shown so much love towards the Kalabari people and committed to giving befitting burial to their late Amanyanabo.