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Maritime University debacle: Itsekiris too small to alter our identity – Gbaramatu Youths

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• Any unholy move will meet with stiff resistance – Etuemi Wuruyai

• AGF should re-memo NASS withdrawing his earlier memo – GYC

In their unceasing voice against that mooted plan to change the name of the  Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko to Okerenghigho, the Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC, has declared that the Itsekiris are too micro to change their God-given identity.

The group stated this recently through its President, Christopher Etuemi Wuruyai while fielding questions from GbaramatuVoice Newspaper in Warri, Delta state.

According to him, the group has made its point clear to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice in its letter that the issue is beyond just renaming the site of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko

He added that for the Itsekiri nation to deliberately alter their God-given identity manipulatively using colonial administrative institutions in the colonial era, and federal institutions in a post-colonial era which are still primitively demonstrated in this modern day, is another issue of concern.

In his words, “It was in the bid to achieve the above aim that the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC) introduced to the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) in their letter this failed strange name ‘Okerenghigho’.”

A move according to him which prompted the AGF’s memo dated the 17th day of October 2017 and reported on the 5th day of January in the Vanguard Newspapers to the Clerk of the National Assembly where he advised the National Assembly to change the genuine name of the host community of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, having been affirmed in the National Assembly through various fact-finding missions to the community to ascertain the true identity of the host community.

Continuing, he argued that the AGF position signed by H. A. Tahir was only a misled occasioned by a misleading fact adduced by the counsel to the Itsekiri Youth wing spearheaded by Lawrence E. Ewere & Co, that was considered immaterial to the subject matter during the public hearing of the bill seeking to establish the Maritime University, Okerenkoko.

“We further argued against the opinion that James Uluba & Others vs Chief E. E. Sillo & Others is a fundamental cause of changing the community name in the bill, as this is highly misleading. Thus, the AGF memo seeking to infect such change could be undoubtedly interpreted as premeditated conniver with Itsekiri nation to alter our God-given Identity.

“Certainly, for the number one carrier of Justice for Nigerians to have been misled this easily is nothing less than a national embarrassment occasioned by crass disservice to the Nigeria state characterized by endemic corrupt nature of certain individuals that this administration has called out to national service.

“GYC, therefore, states emphatically that Okerenkoko is part of our collective God-given identity as Gbaramatu Kingdom, handed down by our ancestors. Thus, any attempt by the Nigerian state, either by executive fiat, legislative instrumentality or judicial decision, to alter same will not be seen by us as in the interest of national peace.

“Hence, any unholy move must meet stiff resistance as this is fundamental to our collective existence as Ijaw people of Gbaramatu Kingdom,” he explained.

“Markedly, Gbaramatu Youth Council do make bold to request the AGF as a matter redeeming his image and saving our dear country and the president who called him to national service this avoidable embarrassment, re-memo the National Assembly, seeking withdrawal of the said misleading memo previously sent as same was obviously a way to trade justice upheld during the public hearing of the bill seeking to establish the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko occasioned by keen study of adduced facts from both contending parties supported by physical inspection of the university site to establish the true owners of the land.

“We reaffirm the decision reached in the meeting held at Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom held at the instance of the Gbaramatu Youth Council in agreement with the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide as released to the press by the chairman, IYC, Gbaramatu Chapter with representatives from six out of the nine Niger Delta states.

“This is to save our country’s revered National Assembly from unwarranted embarrassment on this subject matter. And subsequently, make clear to the Nigerian state that the Niger Delta Youths sincerely want the immediate take-off of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko for which course we stand.”

To drive home their point, the Gbaramatu Youth Council reiterated their resolve not to fold their hands and watch the Itsekiris alter their God-given identity. This decision, they say, is informed by the actual fact that the site of the Nigerian Maritime University is and remain Okerenkoko as against the fictitious and evil name dishonestly manufactured by the Itsekiris.

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