—2014 Agreement Must Be Implemented –Hon. Agbaibor
—Calls on Governor Okowa To Intervene
Following the refusal of the Itsekiris in Warri North Area of Delta State to allow an Egbema Ijaw indigene to occupy the office of Warri North Local Government Area Chairman since creation 26 years ago, the Egbema people are now set for a showdown.
This was disclosed by the leadership of the Egbema Advancement Movement (EAM) in a chat with GbaramatuVoice yesterday.
According to the group’s President, Honourable Beauty Agbaibor, the Egbema Ijaws of Warri North have suffered so much political and social injustices in the hands of the Itsekiris who have monopolized what ordinarily supposed to be their commonwealth.
Continuing, the group’s president who is also known as the Oil Queen stated that the Egbema people who are the majority in number were politically neglected and delineated into just four wards to become subservient to their counterparts, the Itsekiri who have six wards occasioned by political maneuvering.
The Environmental Activist further disclosed that due to this perpetual oppression of the Ijaws, the Egbema people rose against what she called a ‘political coup’ in 2014 in a revolt to have a taste of the chairmanship position.
She further affirmed that after the upheaval simmered, there was an agreement that in 2018, Ijaw indigene from Egbema will take over as chairman.
She then posited that the only way out of this lacuna is to device a sharing formula between the Itsekiri and Ijaw ethnic nationality, which makes up the Warri North Local Government, adding that such move alone can guarantee peace in the local council.
Speaking in the same vein, the Vice President of the group, Hon. Thompson Abanara who doubles as a member of the Delta State Land and Waterway Security Committee stated that the problem of marginalization of the Ijaws in Warri North has lasted for so long because they are peace-loving people.
He, however, added that since the Itsekiris believe that the chairmanship slot of Warri North LGA is their birthright, the group is now ready for a showdown unless the chairmanship slot is given to the Egbema people as agreed earlier in 2014.
While giving a condition for peace, Hon. Thompson Abanara stressed that the only thing that can stop the carnage is for “our amiable Governor to use his good office to step into the matter”.
The group’s Vice President insisted that it is an error of judgment for the Ijaws who are in majority to be playing a second fiddle role of minority.
He pointed out that the Egbema Advancement Movement wants the whole world to know that they are no longer ready to take that bitter pill of political slavery in our modern world.
To support his claim, Hon. Abanara opined that the chairmanship slot that has been zoned to Egbema Ijaw speaking people of Warri North by former Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan must be implemented to the letter in the spirit of equity, peace, and justice.
In a related development, Comrade Andrew Lelekumo and Ebi Zibor, the group’s Secretary and Public Relations Officer respectively called on all Egbema people to be united to fight the injustice.
They told GbaramatuVoice that they are very angry over the shoddy political arrangement and lopsided calculus of power play in Warri North Local Council.
In like manner, Comrade Friday Ugedi, Organizing Secretary; Comrade Mathew Polo Treasurer, and Comrade Monday Oligoron, Assistant Secretary of the group told our reporter that for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to remain relevant in Warri North, it is imperative for the party leadership to make peace by allowing an Egbema indigene to emerge as PDP candidate for the forthcoming local council election.
The duo explained that what the Itsekiri people are doing is a direct invitation to anarchy as only 15% of the 650 council workers are from the Ijaw ethnic nationality while the staggering 75% are Itsekiris.
The group, therefore, called on Governor Okowa in the interest of peace to step into the matter now instead of waiting until the issue has assumed a wider proportion that is capable of igniting a real battle.
Other members of the group present at the media chat with GbaramatuVoice includes but not limited to; Comrade Austin Seiye, and Comrade A. C Iyekoraghawei.