WARRI—PROMINENT social commentator and university don, Prof. Itse Sagay, has identified what he called “making power friends” and ensuring peaceful relationship with its neighbouring Urhobo and Ijaw as experienced in the days of late Chief Dore Numa, as the only way Itsekiri can tackle the current political challenges confronting it in the three Warri local government areas of Delta State.
Prof. Sagay, at the maiden public lecture organised by National Association of Itsekiri Graduates, NAIG, weekend, in Warri, posited that unlike in the days of the defunct Mid-West, when the political rights of Itsekiri as a minority were protected in its homeland of the present day Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North councils, the Itsekiri nation was presently in a weak political position without any form of protection in terms of representation at both federal and state legislatures.
His goodwill message was read by a former Commissioner in Delta State and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Dr. Alex Ideh.
Former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye, at the lecture tasked Itsekiri people to strive to be in government and opposition as a result of the dynamics in politics.
Others such as Prof. Oritsegbemi Omatete, Dr. J. Ireyefoju and A. S. Mene, who spoke on the challenges of Itsekiri as minority in a multi-ethnic Nigeria, proffered historical, economic and socio-cultural solutions that will rescue Itsekiri nation from its present politically disadvantaged position.
National President of NAIG, Miss Alero Tenumah, in her address noted that the maiden lecture was part of strategy to unearth new approach to engage the oil majors and other companies doing business in Itsekiri- land on the need to employ Itsekiri graduates as well as ensure local contract award.