…demands staff of office for 5 Ijaw monarchs
By Emma Amaize
WARRI—IJAW Peoples Development Initiative, IDPI, an Ijaw rights organisation, yesterday, called on Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, to stop what it described as the marginalisation of Ijaw monarchs and present staff of office to five Ijaw traditional rulers in the state.
National President of the group, Mr. Austin Ozobo, said this in a statement in Warri, Delta State.
His words: “It is our demand that the five Ijaw traditional rulers in Edo State should be given staff of office without further delay.’’
The group also complained that the governor has neither recognised Ijaw oil-producing communities in Edo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ESOPADEC, nor allowed the tribe to produce a commissioner to represent the ethnic group on the commission’s board.
Ozobo, who with other Ijaw leaders attended the one year coronation anniversary of the traditional ruler of Olodiama kingdom, HRM Godwin Ogunoyibo, Alagbabunafa III, the Agadagba of Olodiama kingdom in Edo State, also complained that the government has denied Ijaw communities in the state of befitting schools, health centers, potable water, motorable roads, and other basic amenities.
The activist stated: “This successful one-year coronation celebration equally shows that the area where the proposed Gelegele seaport is sited belongs to the rulership of Pere Godwin Ogunoyibo, the Alagbabunafa lll, the Agadagba of Olodiama kingdom, Gelegelegbene being part of the Ijaw communities that make up that kingdom.
“It is a clear proof that the governor and Benin monarch have no power to rename the proposed Gelegele seaport after Benin, as that will amount to an invitation of war,” he added.
Ijaw monarchs and leaders from Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States were in Ikoro town, headquarters of Olodiama kingdom, to celebrate the one year coronation anniversary of the paramount ruler of Olodiama.
The traditional rulers of Gbaramatu Ogulagha, Tubutoro, Gbaraun, Okomu and Olodiama in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states graced the occasion.
Respected Ijaw leaders, including former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Brodrick Bozimo, member representing Burutu in the House of Representatives, Mr. Julius Pondi, Chief Tunder Smooth, Chief Keston Pondi, former regent of Apoi land, Ondo State, Princess Yoyce Ebiseni, Prof C A Dime and chairman, Ijaw National Council, INC, Western Zone, Robinson Ogunkoru, participated in the celebration.