•Maritime University is for all, not for Ijaws alone
•Provoking an Ijaw man is synonymous with provoking a tiger
A former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimor has warned the Federal Government not take the peaceful nature of the Ijaws for granted, but rather, address the injustice being visited on them, on the issue of the naming of the Maritime University, located at Okerenkoko, Delta State.
Alaowei Broderick Bozimor stated this on Tuesday 9th January 2018 in his country home in Warri, during the unveiling of the Izon Christian Fellowship (ICT) ”21st Ijaw day of Prayer, Praise, and Thanksgiving.”
The ex-Police Affairs boss described the secret move to rename the university as a provocation of the highest order.
In his words, “As you can see, there is so much injustice in Nigeria and against the Niger Delta in particular. You can see the harassment that has been happening in the Gbaramatu Kingdom. I say this because at my age, I know a lot about this kingdom and I am convinced of our peaceful nature.”
Concerning the maritime university sited on their land, he argued that the university is a federal university and not an Ijaw university wondering why the Itsekiris are opposing anything that is coming to the Ijaw land all in the pretense that the Ijaw people are settlers.
“Even if we concede that the Ijaws are settlers, are the Itsekiris the indigenes of the area?” he queried.
The ex-Minister of the federal republic of Nigeria further stressed that for a fact that the Ijaws are indigenes of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
“So this indigenous argument is neither here nor there, but I know for a fact that the Ijaws are indigenous to Gbaramatu Kingdom.”
To further buttress the above point, he stated, “I have been a lawyer for over forty years and I have been involved in a lot of the cases. And I know that because the Ijaws are beginning to take their proper place in this country, there is so much envy and jealousy. People just want to cause confusion; otherwise what is wrong?
“Our son Tompolo has been in the driving seat for establishing the Maritime University in Okerenkoko, and somebody wakes up and says ‘it is Okeren or something, something, and not Okerenkoko anymore’. Is that not extreme provocation?”
He, therefore, prayed that the impasse would be resolved amicably as provoking an Ijaw man is synonymous with provoking a lion or tiger.
He, therefore, advised the federal government and other tribes not to take their peaceful nature for granted “because when you do, and the Ijaw man is provoked, they don’t know how to say ‘ebideye’ meaning ‘it is enough,” he added.
On his personal life, Bozimo stated that he is a peaceful man that promotes peace in his area of abode.
’’I have been a peaceful person by nature. In fact, my wife organizes the Warri Effurun Peace Marathon every year, and for this year it is coming up on the 3rd of March, 2018.
He told GbaramatuVoice that he has been a humble member of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) a coalition of different bodies in the Niger Delta region irrespective of tribe or race that is preaching reconciliation between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta people.
Part of that preaching according to him is that the Federal Government should make haste and get the Maritime University, Okerenkoko which is a Federal University kick-started.
Bozimor finally opined that the Maritime University is not an Ijaw people’s university but a Federal university that is sited in an area where so much money is made by the federal government.