•Calls on the Olu of Warri to caution his subjects
Youths in Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom have dismissed claims by the Itsekiri National Youth Council that Ogbe-Ijoh market belongs to the Itsekiris under the lordship of the Olu of Warri.
The youths conveyed their plights in a Press statement jointly signed by the Ijaw Youth Council Chairman of the Kingdom , IYC Mr. Smart Okosu and the President Ogbe -Ijoh Clan Youth Council, Mr. Edwin Aken
The various youth bodies in the Kingdom prevailed on the revered Itsekiri monarch to call its kinsmen to order to avoid any breach of peace within the ethnic groups.
The youths further appealed to the Delta State government for the completion of the market to avoid the persistent ethnic rancour that have rocked the market in recent times.
They particularly debunked the Itsekiri National Youth Council claims that the Ogbe-Ijoh market is not under the lordship of the Olu of Warri while pinpointing that it does not also belongs to the Itsekiris.
The duo of Smart and Edwin alleged that the Ogbe -Ijoh Warri Kingdom is not only in Warri South West Local Government Area of the State but also in the Warri South Local government Area as well.
However, making reference to historic documents, the Ogbe-Ijoh youth leaders stated that the said market has been under the leadership of the Ogbe-Ijoh people, stressing that the status quo will continue to remain the same while describing the Itsekiris claims as baseless and frivolous.
Speaking on the power of unity, they calls for an over all unity among ethnic groups in Warri, explaining that the oil city have lost its glory owing to disunity among the various tribes that constitute Warri.
The statement read “The attention of the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Youth Council has been drawn to a statement by one Mr. Agbaterinero Weyinmi, President Itsekiri National Youth Council as contained in the Nation newspaper of 08/10/16 on page 45 and other newspapers to the effect that Ogbe-Ijoh market belongs to Itsekiri under the lordship of Olu. We ordinarily would have ignored this frivolous and baseless claim, but we have decided to respond to put the records straight.”
It added “In the first place, contrary to the report, the Ogbe-Ijoh territory is both in Warri South Local Government Area and Warri South West Local Government Area. While the traditional headquarters of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom is also the administrative headquarters of Warri South West Local Government Area, the part of Ogbe-Ijoh including the Ogbe-Ijoh market from where the township, Warri was established is in Warri South Local Government Area. This fact is recognized in several legal instruments including the Instrument establishing The Delta State Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1999 which Gazetted the Amakosu (Pere) of Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South Local Government areas, the Warri Urban District Council WRLN 177 of 1955 where Ogbe-Ijoh areas where represented as Alders town B3, Ogbe-Ijoh C1, C2 and Government Area F1 in Warri township, The Chiefs Laws Cap 19 of 1957 of the former Western Region, later Cap 37 of 1977 says the Olu is the prescribed authority of Itsekiris in Warri excluding the territories of Ogbe-Ijoh, Gbaramatu and Egbema. It is simple logic that the Paramount Ruler of Ogbe-Ijoh Kingdom could not have been recognized and gazette as a traditional ruler in Warri South Local Government Area if the Ogbe-Ijoh people and territory are not part of Warri South Local Government Area. Those claiming to the contrary are simply ignorant of the history and geography of Warri township.”
The Ogbe-Ijoh youths noted that “This much was put in clear and lucid terms by the Warri Assessment Report 1928 which says: “The township of Warri in marked contrast to the village of old Warri is of recent growth. The Original settlement which in due course becomes the nucleus around which the population settled was known as OGBE-IJOH and the name is still retained to define that portion of the town around the present market. As the name indicates, Ogbe-Ijoh was originally an Ijaw settlement and the Ijaw fish market (Ogbe-Ijoh market)’’. And the amended Bye law of Ogbe-Ijoh market was signed on the 20th of March, 1936.”
The statement maintains that “The Delta State Community Development Committee law 2005 establishing the various CDCs in the three Warri Local Government Councils also created Ogbe-Ijoh areas in Warri Urban in the Agbarha CDC where Ogbe-Ijoh had a representative in the Committee. It becomes therefore imperative to clarify this position as attempt is being made referring to Ogbe-Ijoh as a Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government area alone.”
Appealing to the Delta State government and the Olu of Warri “We call on the Itsekiri Paramount Ruler to prevail on the likes of Agbaterinero Weyinmi not to remind us of our no good distant past as the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Youth Council will not tolerate irresponsible and careless statement capable of undermining the prevailing peace in Warri. We also use this medium to appeal to Delta State Government to complete the Ogbe-Ijoh market to avoid the persistent problems arising from the management of the market. Warri today has lost its glory because of senseless ethnic rivalry and illegal land grabbing tendencies. It is better for all ethnic groups to respect each other and live as one instead of embarking on day light frivolous claims and thereby creating unnecessary tension. It is our collective responsibility to make Warri great again through unity and working together.” The youths asserted