The Egbesu Brotherhood, an ethno-religious organization of the indigenous people of Ijaw Nation, that prides itself as “upholding the Ijaws’ ancestral covenant through the worship of Egbesu, the only one true and fearless God of Justice, Truth and Righteousness,” has threatened to join forces with the Ijaw youths in their planned protest to the National Assembly against the renaming of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
In a statement signed and released by Mr. Bodmas P. Kemepadei, the Coordinating Minister, Order of Egbesu Brotherhood, on Thursday, the group flays the activities of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and certain individuals in the attempt to rename the maritime university.
The Egbesu brotherhood also called on the Ijaws to be steadfast in faith and place their trust in the group, while advising those in diaspora to be cautious and be of strong faith.
The statement states; “As part of our core aim and objective, to partner and/or complement the efforts of organizations involved in development within Ijaw land in actualisation of peace, development and improved economic activity of the people, we make bold our claims to ascertain the way forward for our people as regards the issue of the Maritime University in Okerenkoko.
“We have watched with dismay the unguided and unwarranted statement of the AGF, Mr. Malami, aimed at misinforming the general public and to incite an intertribal war between we the Ijaws and the Itsekiris. We understand that the intent of the AGF, was to halt the resumption of academic activities, but unfortunately, his sponsors may have buried their heads in shame.
“In desperation, these sponsors and land grabbers are bent to forcefully acquire our heritage, it has therefore been brought to our knowledge, following a publication on Vanguard Newspaper dated January 9, 2018, signed by the Secretary of the Itsekiri Youths Council, Mr. Joseph Uwawah, where they disclosed that they are converging to stage a 1 million man-match to the National Assembly to force and cow it to reject the ideal name of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.”
The group made the following declaration in the statement;
“That Ijaws from all temples in Niger Delta will by any means necessary resist attempts to change the name of the institution.
“That we advise the Itsekiris to tow the path of peaceful co-existence, for an inter-tribal war will only end up putting them in a disadvantaged position.
“That we call on all Ijaws, home and diaspora, to always take caution and be of strong faith.
“That we call on our people to be united and steadfast in their agitations.
“That we align ourselves with the decision of the Ijaw Youths Council, Gbaramatu Kingdom, to stage a five million man march to the National assembly to defend their decision, which was reached with respect to fair hearing from both parties, as encoded in democratic principles.
“That we shall embark on this march with our sacred totems, symbols and materials necessary for traditional rites.”
The Egbesu commended the Edo State Governor for recognising the Ijaws as aborigines of Edo state, while enjoining its people to be more active in the fellowships of the group, adding that it is the only spiritual foundation that can liberate them.
“We also utilise this medium to commend the Governor of Edo state, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, for retracing his steps and recognising Ijaws as aborigines of Benin. It is on this backdrop that we call off our planned protest to Benin City.
“We encourage all Ijaw sons and daughters to continue to build their faith in Egbesu, attend fellowships and make the priests their companion. It is the only spiritual foundation by which we can be liberated.”