By Ofoni Williams
The development in Izon nation of late is not the best way to celebrate ourselves and the existing leadership of our race. The development to say the least remains a sad tale and commentary. Notable among others are the saga of the Edo state Izons, Okerenkoko saga. Both events have connoted that the Izons are settlers and tenants to either the Binis or Itsekiri people. As sad as it is, court judgments are said to be in place by the advocates, that the Izons in the mentioned places are settlers. Even though it is generally said that the said court judgments are backyard and fraudulently obtained, it calls for serious concern on the Izon nation at this time and age of our existence.
The above caused the AGF to author a letter to the National Assembly particularly the Okerenkoko issue. Upon these external aggression and underdevelopment of the people and geography, the Izon are consciously cultivating trivialities that will further disunite us as a people.
The Izons, before this internal self aggression expressed, have been known to manage her affairs that carve out a destined identity with pride and proud democratic credentials that speaks well of us. This is evidential with previous INC congresses and elections.
However, it is sad to note that things are falling apart because of substandard attitude imported into the cultural organization of late. Where illegality and lawlessness is fast becoming a norm and replacing constitutional and laid down procedures for participatory democracy in INC (Izon land).
The teething problem of IYC is yet to be resolved. As presently, the body is fractionalized with two claimants to president of IYC. This is most unfortunate to be associated with any organ of Izon race, considering the nature of events in the country. The delay of the INC elections has called for the Izon nation to be critical of herself before it goes the way of IYC. The signs and what is awash the social media is alarming and required all hands to be on deck to see that the constitution and procedural processes are followed to the latter. Illegality and self interest of few do not prevail over the constitution of the INC.
Despite the fact that INC is open to all Izons, do not take away the fact that every Izon man need to formalize her membership of the body by registration. Thus, any Izon man who do not or have not register is not a true member of INC. Hence, he/she cannot be voted for or vote in INC Election/Congress. This is irrespective of the position and status of any individual in question.
On this note, it will amount to complete embarrassment and cultivation of illegality by any person/s not registered to call for INC meetings, amendment of INC constitution or sign any document in relation to INC and its related matters/issues. Already, there are signs that our revered Izon personalities are misguided, all to earn them embarrassment and public disgrace meted out to them by few elements who considered themselves bigger than the Izon nation. By design, they are interested in illegalities and shortcuts to position themselves unduly.
It appears that the Bayelsa State Government is already misguided on the subject matter and exhibiting over bearing influence on INC based on ill-informed mode of operations and procedures of the socio cultural organization (INC) that is properly guided by her constitution.
It should be placed on record that INC, just like sisters social cultural organization, can survive without Bayelsa State Government because Itsekiri, Ogoni, Isoko, Ikwere are without states, yet they are in existence and kicking on fine. Hence, that INC will cease to exist without ‘Bayelsa State Government Mentality’ should be laid to rest without delay and eliminate the traces of over bearing influences of Bayelsa State Government. Moreso, stop all attempts of making IYC and INC an appendage to Bayelsa State.
Anything short of the above, we will end-up embarrassing ourselves and become a race without elders and leaders.
Where a need arise for extra ordinary meetings of the Izon nation, it must be as a result of missing link or lacuna in the constitution of INC. In the absence of that it becomes a misplaced conduct to act otherwise.
As the social media is awash with unhealthy development that is capable of depleting our strength and unity as a people, caution remains the watch word for the Izon nation.
A school of thought holds that, why is it the turn of the western zone that both IYC and INC is experiencing negative posture to the Izon race? Or is it attempt to discredit the leadership of the zone cum notable sons of the Izon race?
As earlier stated, the development is not the best way to celebrate our leaders, elders and traditional rulers that have demonstrated capability to manage and direct the affairs of the Izon nation. Secondly it is not out of place that the Izon nation have personalities such as President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Edwin Clark, Prof. Dime, Prof Kimse Okoko, Prof. Tam-David West, Prof. Briggs Nimi, Chief Wellington Okirika, Chief Bozimor Alaowei Broderick, HRH. Dakoru (Mengi) Brig. Gen. J.E Yeri, Admiral Festus Porbeni, Wing Comd. Biakpara, Justice Tabai, Prof. T.T. Osonu, DIG Anthony Sawyer, T.K Okorotie, Chief Joshua Fomodor, H.E G.T. Tobi, HRH Alfred Spiff, Capt Walter Feyabor, Gen. Cletus Emin, King Amakiri Princewill, Alabo Graham Douglas, Avm Larry Konayah, Gen Appah, Gen. Diriya, Chief Williams, Prof. E.J Alagoa, Chief Lulu Briggs, etc.
These rays of personalities of the Izon race are not misplaced or accidental to have come from Izon race. It becomes imperative that standardization, constitutionality and procedural processes need not be abused for whatsoever reason to justify the negative colouration that is in the making. That will brand the Izon nation in bad light.
The earlier we collectively justify the meaning of Izon (truth and purity) the better for us all. It is likely said to be a mistake that is correctable now but later it will become a sad phenomena and full of regret as we assume centre stage of laughing stock in the comity of nations, in no distance time, if care is not taken. To retrace our steps at which speed the Izon nation seem set to embracing illegality in broad day light in this 21st century, all Izons that detest illegality should stand up, to say a loud ‘NO’, in Jesus Christ name, Amen.
There is yet to be an identified lapse in the constitution to warrant vacuum in the first place, as we are being made to believe. This is too unfortunate to note. In the same vein, it remain a stock where certain persons derive their powers to function at the capacity they are now acting or attempting to make us (Izon) believe that they mean well for the Izon nation.
Let it be noted that their actions and conducts are a disservice to the overall interest of the Izon nation as therein contained in our collective aspiration document herein referred to as the constitution of INC (Izon nation). The Izon nation is not in a civil war or under military regime to warrant suspension of her constitution. In the absence of the above, anything contrary means the Izon nation have decided to further endanger herself for reasons not known to institutionalized, modernalized, intellectual fruitful reasoning, for oneness and progress that will usher in development and peace among us and other sister nations in Nigeria federation.
A certain school of thought holds that this swift attempt of illegality is to further political calculation in certain quarters in advance that do not take into consideration our collective aspiration and desire but self-centered. The above x-ray the degree and magnitude of what shall befall the Izon nation. If one may ask, what is the interest of Bayelsa State Government in all of this in the first place? Secondly, what will be the fate of Izon nation, if other states such as Toru-Ibe or Oil Rivers are in place or come to be in the near future?
Hence, we need to standardize our affairs via the constitution. We need not pretend that all is well or develop less concerned attitudes to our collective oneness, happiness and unity as a race. It should remain our collective interest that positive progress and relative peace exist. What benefits do we derive at the end of the day that courts room become our living room? What might be responsible for the new wave of illegalities; could it be institutionalized poverty, greed or poverty of the brain and mind of the Izon race that we fall shorts of the meaning of Izon? To the extent that we cannot muster courage to speak truth to justify ourselves? Or, could it be the power of money, since money answereth all things? These questions are begging for answers.
While we wait for answers, let it be known that attempt of any person above 65years contesting for INC president, means that the leadership and elders must be saying that they had failed in their duty and responsibility to have groomed generational leadership. Hence, their willingness to contest. In the same vein, it remains a known fact that to contest for president of Nigeria is from 45years, so why persons over 70years?
The Izon nation must not only express, exhibit, demonstrate seriousness but must be critical to the Izon race sustainability in all ramifications. The time to stand and be counted is now.
Finally, the Izon nation, if we fail to act now, I deposit the following likely ugly events:
There is going to be increased political motivated killings in Izon land;
We shall record increase in kidnapping. Already it is on record today that Mrs. Maria Ebikake is in the den of kidnappers. In the past, she cried to threat to life. In the same vein Barr. George Turner and Hon. Ofoni D. Williams are on the same page on the subject matter;
Victimization, criminalization, blackmail, betrayal will be the order of the day.
The above shades are not colouration the Izon nation desires and aspired to be associated with. As the deposits above will lead to communal and clan wars in Izon land in no distance time, I therefore advice and warn the Izon nation of internal and self-aggression that will inflict us badly in a manner that the foundation of the Izon nation shall feel the impact on a serious note.
Governor Dickson Seriake should re-examine the information before him, before he will be completely misguided. More particularly, INC is not a political platform but socio cultural organization of the Izon people/Nation.
God bless the Izon race in Jesus Christ name, Amen.
Hon. Ofoni Williams – (Pina-Oge), Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.