Five Itsekiri leaders: Pa Jackson Ireyefoju, Ph.D,Sir Amorighoye Sunny Mene, Air Vice Marshall Terry Omatsola Okorodudu (Rtd.) Engr. Victor Wood and Comrade Amaechi Ogbitse Ogbonna have identified the re-integration of quality representations /leadership as evident in the first and second republics’ Itsekiri political class as well as prior to 1999 as solution to the challenges facing Itsekiri Nation in today’s Nigeria.
The Itsekiri leaders made the postulation yesterday in Warri,Delta State during the 21st National Convention /Inauguration Ceremony of National Association of Itsekiri Graduates, NAIG.
While Dr. Jackson Ireyefoju in his remark asked if Itsekiri Nation was not small in population when they dominated the space in the political dispensations prior to 1999, Comrade Amaechi Ogbonna posited that the problem of Itsekiri Nation started in 1999 when Itsekiris began to “play politics of money” and Secretary of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, ILOT, Sir Amorighoye Mene, averred that Itsekiri people have been exposed to tyranny since the minority right protection was expunged by the military in 1966.
According to Ogbonna, “Itsekiri was majority in the 1st republic in terms of ideology, but now 2nd after PDP”.
Sir Mene while stating that the plight of minority in Nigeria is much worse today than 100 years ago, opined, “it’s only in Nigeria that democracy is a game of number, instead of the people’s rights” as practiced in other countries.
Air Vice Marshall Terry Okorodudu (Rtd.) in a remark, declared that those who go against Itsekiri values should be ostracized, adding that the present socio-political situation Itsekiri Nation found itself may get worse if activism is not embraced by young Itsekiris.
Engr. Wood who thanked members of NAIG for being the flagship of unity amongst groups /associations in Itsekiri Nation so far, lamented that Itsekiris were majority in quality and knowledge in the past like the way the Fulani ethnic Nationality of today put her best in key political as well as strategic career positions despite being minority .
Re-elected National President of NAIG, Comrade Collins Oritsetimeyin Edema in his inaugural speech, disclosed that the association under his leadership in the first tenure was able to enroll about 40 students for May/June WAEC, secure more jobs for their members in Chevron, ConOil, Matrix Energy and other companies as well as pursue job openings in FIRS, FRSC, Nigerian Prisons and NPA.
He declared that Itsekiri graduates as 2019 polls inch closer, “will not support any candidate whose stock-in-trade is the looting of our commonwealth”, adding, “we will not support any candidate whose track record does not reflect hope for the future of Itsekiri Nation”.