By EGUFE YAFUGBORHI, Warri
ACTIVIST and Igba of Warri, Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor has accused Itsekiri in public offices of lying and deceiving the people over development of the Delta State ethnic nationality.
Chief Lori-Ogbebor made the accusation after being shouted down from responding to scorecards presented by Hon. Daniel Reyenieju, member representing Warri Federal and that by Oritsua Kpogho, Chairman Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC at the lecture session of the opening ceremony of the 27th Coronation Anniversary of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II.
In the presentations which also attracted angry remarks from several youths at the Olu Palace Hall, Hon. Reyenieju had claimed securing 500 slots for the Itsekiri nation under the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme under which he said 100 Itsekiri have benefitted overseas post graduate scholarships while 25 are about embarking on aeronautics and pilot training in Germany and 250 for local skills acquisition among other benefits.
In his presentation, Kpogho, the DESOPADEC boss told the Olu and his gathered subjects that his commission’s proposal at providing micro credit to some Itsekiri groups under its farming programme in the current operational 2013 budget was rejected by the Delta State Assembly, expressing hope in the efforts of Hon. Reyenieju to work something out in that respect from the Federal Government.
Defending her outburst and workout on the gathering which truncated that session of the coronation anniversary, Chief Lori-Ogbebor told Saturday Vanguard that both political office holders lied to the Olu and the Itsekiri people, adding that her denial from responding on the spur of the moment was to prevent her from exposing the lies.
Lori-Ogbebor also addressed as Irowojo fumed, “Reyenieju has been a rep for almost eight years. What can he point to have given to the Itsekiri he represents? He is forging figures of overseas scholarship under amnesty to deceive the people because he wants third tenure. Who are these beneficiaries? It is not enough to claim figures. I challenge him to list the beneficiaries.”
“What do these Itesekiri government people even do for us? When the Ijaws got Amnesty, nobody thought of Itsekiris. I raised alarm that we are all from the same area and affected by the crisis in the region. Then youths of Itsekiri held a press conference in Warri but their own politicians in government caused police to detain them for over two months before I called my lawyers to intervene.
“For the DESOPADEC Chairman, he knew I am aware all his failure on the women farmers’ group assistance. He is head of DESOPADEC and he thinks he can shift the blame of his failure to Delta Assembly. Worse still if he cannot help Itsekiri people from his vantage position while would he expect Reyenieju who is far less in touch with the people to cover his letdown.”
According to the Igba of Warri, the perceived conspiracy in being shouted down by Chief (Dr.) C. D Ikomi from responding at the event would not mean an end to the matter. “They started it, now I am going to court. They will prove the bogus figures and claims they are making. There is no development in Itsekiri. No education, no infrastructures. Poverty stirs them in the face.
“The bigger pain is that they are telling lies to the Olu. The Olu would think all is well. So it is the Chiefs who allow the lies to be told at the Palace that I am fighting. I still owe the Olu my respect and allegiance. I bowed to him and walked out, but I will not bow to my head in shame.”