By Festus Ahon
ITSEKIRI Progress Club, IPC, Weekend, has frowned at the ceding of Warri North Local Government Council Chairmanship position to the Ijaws in the March 6 Delta State Local Government election.
IPC in a letter dated 15th February 2021, addressed to the Delta state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, tagged: “Treachery of our Political Actors” signed by its Chairman, Chief Tony Onuwaje and Secretary, Mr. Godwin Okotie, copy of which was made available to newsmen in Asaba, raised alarm over what it termed as betrayal and compromise of the rights of the people which has led to the loss of its patrimony due to personal interest.
While accusing Government at all levels of tending to be rewarding lawlessness and violent agitations instead of adherence to rule of law and orderliness in pursuit of political gains, the club said: “the peaceful disposition of our people tend to make us helpless as our political gladiators have been cowed into personal aggrandizement rather than national values.
“We want to make reference to the recent development in Warri North Local Government Chairmanship position that is now being ceded to the Ijaws who are in minority in the Local Government. This is not only undemocratic but also unfair to the Itsekiri in majority. This is one erosion (loss) too many for the Itsekiri ethnic nationality and this trend is not acceptable any more.
“From time, the political structure has always been designed on the basis of Ethnic groups. Before and during the First Republic, the structure of the Western Region then were in Divisions as components of the regions, for example, Western Urhobo Division, Eastern Urhobo Division, Ika, Ijaw and Itsekiri.
“On creation of the Mid-Western Region, the federating units were also in Divisions along ethnic lines and in the defunct Bendel State the political structure was also in the line of ethnic nationalities.
“In 1976 government effected further reforms which led to the emergence of local governments created along the lines of ethnic nationalities, thus with the creation of Delta State in 1991, the political structure was based on the Senatorial Districts of Delta North, Delta Central and Delta South and the local government areas in the senatorial districts were created along the lines of preserving the ethnic nationalities.
“In the political system since 1999, the Itsekiri ethnic nationality has been the loser in the political structure and arrangement as the Itsekiri local government areas were bastardized through a bloody insurrection against Itsekiri people.
“Warri South-West local government area with Ogidigben created for Itsekiri was traded out in 1999 by relocation of the headquarters from Ogidigben (Itsekiri Community) to Ogbe-Ijoh (Ijaw Community) by the Executive Fiat of the Delta state government”.