The Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC) has called on the ijaws to stop presenting erroneous Population Figures to suit their claim of being majority in the Niger Delta region, noting that the 2006 National Population Census data is in the public domain.
INYC in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary Mr. Joseph Uwawah , described the recent presentation made by the factional President of IYC, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, Esq that the Ijaws occupies three homogeneous Local Government Area in Delta State as an insult to the Isoko Nation and the Urhobo Nation that have autonomous communities in Patani, Bomadi and Burutu.
The statement reads, “The Ijaws coexist with other ethnic nationalities in Patani, Bomadi and Burutu, in some cases speak the same languages interchangeably. The IYC President is aware that this same heterogeneous scenario is what is obtainable even in Bayelsa State where they claim entirely as homogeneous Ijaw State.
We commend Garba Shehu, the spokesman of the Presidency for putting the records straight in the public sphere, that the Itsekiris in Delta State are more than the Ijaws, conscious of the fact that besides the three Warri local government areas, there are indigenous Itsekiri communities in Uvwie, Udu, Okpe, Sapele, Ethiope West local government areas respectively.
”It is totally an aberration that Ijaws can even think, talk less claim dominance in population in two out of the three Warri local government areas of Delta State. We state categorically that the Itsekiris remains majority in the three Warri local government areas as shown in the 2006 National Population Census which is in the public domain.
‘’According to the 2006 National Population Census data the Itsekiris have more population than the Ijaws in Delta State. This is the rationale behind the confidence that the Itsekiri has, that they will always defeat the Ijaws in any electoral contest except there are political arrangements to give minority tribes opportunity to govern.
“Besides the Itsekiris in Edo and Ondo State, the Itsekiri people exist in more than seven local government areas in Delta but predominantly in three Local government areas. We have autonomous Itsekiri Communities in Sapele, Ethiope West, Uvwie, Udu and Ukwuani LGA. The Ijaws have turned fishing camps into Communities/settlement. The Ijaws are fond of fabricating history which is built on quick sand; we challenge the ijaws of Delta State to provide verifiable documents to substantiate their claims.
“The Ijaws have continued to benefit from direct disregard for the rule of law, some of which include the arbitrary relocation of Warri South West Local Government headquarters from Ogidigben to Ogbe-Ijoh against the legally recognized place and the purported acquisition of maritime University land, among others”.