By Daniel Gumm
WARRI â€” THE leadership of Itsekiri National Youths Council has thanked Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Elder Godsday Orubebe, for what it described as â€œa change of heart..â€
In a telephone chat with Vanguard late Wednesday, National President of the group, Mr. David Tonwe, said the group was most gratified by the outcome of the meeting which held on Tuesday,Â 4 MayÂ 2010 in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Niger Delta between the Minister of State for the Niger Delta and 20 contractors appointed for the 40 housing units for Ode-Itsekiri and Oporaza in which the Head of Infrastructure of the Ministry and directors were in attendance.
According to Tonwe, it was a courageous act and worthy of thanks and praise for Elder Orubebe to go beyond the dictates of power, pride and ego to the status of a statesman (at least for now) to rescind a bad decision which would have dealt a devastating blow on the Itsekiri nation.
â€œFor this, we remain grateful to him as this singular act will further cement the present cordial relationship between the Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities, the two foremost oil producing and bearing ethnic groups in Nigeria.â€
Tonwe noted that their advertorial letter to the Acting President (in the Vanguard of Thursday, April 29, 2010) in which the action of the minister was reported, has no political undertone, but was â€œprecipitated by what we considered as the then unjust and unfair act of the minister which in our view was strewed with rapacious ethno-centric bigotry.â€
â€œNow that he has withdrawn that directive, we have no problem with him again and in due course we shall seek audience with him to congratulate and savour with him for the appointment as a minister, even though no single Itsekiri has been considered worthy by the Acting President for any position in his cabinet.â€
Tonwe said that INYC would henceforth monitor the activities of all ministers and government officials, who statutorily must deal with the Niger Delta region so as to ensure that the Itsekiri nation would no longer be short changed.