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Halt transfer of 20 housing units from Ode-Itsekiri, youths urge Jonathan

WARRI—ACTING President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has been urged by Itsekiri youths to prevail on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Peter Godsday Orubebe, from removing the proposed 20 housing units from Ode-Itsekiri to Oporaza.

The youths explained that such action would create a situation capable of undermining the present peaceful coexistence between the Ijaw and Itsekiri in Delta State.

In an open letter to the Acting President, signed by the duo of  David Tonwe and Isaac Dorsu, National President and National Secretary of Itsekiri National Youths Council, INYC, respectively, the Itsekiri youths drew the Acting President’s attention to an “emerging policy thrust imbued with anti-Itsekiri sentiments which the new Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is championing with intensity.”

INYC said since the end of the Ijaw/Itsekiri crisis, both groups have been living together peacefully based on the principle of mutual respect and sharing equally whatever is available, and thus giving no room for mutual suspicion and acrimony, but the new Minister of the Niger Delta’s “world-view of Ijaw as master-tribe of the Niger Delta, his assumption of the Niger Delta as synonymous with Ijaw Ethnic nation, and his Ijaw-centric tendencies in the allocation of development projects from the ministry without regard to other ethnic citizens of the Niger Delta region,” would go a long way to bring back room for mutual suspicion and acrimony.

The Itsekiri youth body told the Acting President that the new Orubebe orchestrated “twist which frightens us, consequent upon which we are seeking your intervention is that we have been reliably informed that Elder Orubebe has directed that the Itsekiri’s 20 units billed for Ode-Itsekiri should be given to Ijaw and moved to Oporaza, such that Ijaw will now have a total of 40 units, while the Itsekiri have none.

“The reason advanced by the Honourable Minister, we were further told, is that the Itsekiri will be considered in Phrase 11 of the project.

“We plead with you to look at us (Itsekiri) with pity and stop Elder Orubebe from removing the proposed 20 housing units from Ode-Itsekiri to Oporaza.”

You should also to allow Ode-Itsekiri to benefit as agreed from the New Town/Industrial Park as approved in 2010 budget for which 20 acres of land has already been made available.”

The Itsekiri youths reminded the Acting President that in spite of the fact that “Itsekiri as an ethnic group comes second in terms of oil production in Nigeria, in the Presidency and Federal Executive Council as at today, there is no single person of Itsekiri stock so far appointed by this regime, and even Your Excellency.”

“At the National Assembly, there is only one Itsekiri in the House of Representatives. This situation and our extreme political powerlessness in Nigeria’s centre of power has extremely disadvantaged us and this the likes of Elder Orubebe and others will always capitalise on to tyrannise weak groups in the quest of regional hegemony.”


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