By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Great Benin Vanguard, a Bini socio-cultural organisation, has faulted the call for the creation of a separate local government area for the Ijaw in Edo State, describing it as ingratitude by the ijaw in the state.
The group said: “Ijaw, as we have always known, are customary tenants, who were allowed to stay within the riverine areas of Benin Kingdom purely for economic and military purposes.
“They have always been loyal subjects of the highly-revered monarch, the Oba of Benin Kingdom.
“It smacks of barefaced invitation to intellectual anarchism, for any sane person to reason or insist on the existence of an imaginary Ijaw kingdom within Benin Kingdom.
“This is wholly laughable and unfortunate. They were only allowed to stay along Benin River bank as a part of Benin Industrial Military Complex as unpaid war canoe drivers.”
In a statement by Professor Ovieseri Aibueku and Jefferson Uwoghiren, President and Secretary, respectively, the group noted that “their current unwarranted and unjustified agitation is an outright display of ingratitude.
“Another vexed issue worthy of our response is the request on Governor Godwin Obaseki to create a Local Community Development Association, LCDA, for Ijaw.
“Even Gelegele community is within Ovia North-East Local Government and, like most communities in the area, it is directly administered and controlled from the local government.
“This is besides the fact that the community is inhabited by Bini, Igbo, Yoruba, Urhobo, Ijaw and others.
“It is, therefore, unreasonable for the Ijaw to assume ancestral ownership when they are mere settlers, who have remained therein as customary tenants.”