By Emma Amaize
ASABA—IJAW civil society groups, CSOs, yesterday, threatened to close down Government House, Asaba, Delta State, over alleged deliberate exclusion of Ijaw ethnic group in the appointment of judges in the state.
Spokesperson of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, Daniel Ezekiel, who confirmed the planned protest march, said the CSOs took the decision at a meeting in Warri, adding: “It is our demand that Ijaw should be given its equal share from the 12 slots meant for Delta South senatorial district with immediate effect.
“Anything contrary may set the state on fire, as we have already put in place arrangements and modalities to close down Government House, Asaba, Delta State, in the coming weeks.
“Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa should consider the demand to avoid breakdown of law and order, moreover, Ijaw, being a critical stakeholder in the state does not deserve this disrespect and marginalisation meted to it in the appointment of judges.
“We have met with other civil society groups, a meeting that was attended by a crowd in Warri recently. We condemn the injustice meted to the Ijaws in the state and have resolved to go on protest with our pots, spoons, kettles and mats, so Okowa should prepare for us.
“It may interest you to know that Ijaw is the largest ethnic group in Delta South senatorial district and produce the highest quantum of oil production in the state.
“It is shocking that about 12 persons are currently shortlisted from Delta South to be appointed as new judges in the state and no single Ijaw man is among them.”
“We strongly condemn Okowa’s action, it is demeaning and totally against the principle of federal and state character, as such is capable of fanning the ember of acrimony in the state.”