…Political control by Ijaw’ll forge integration —Oboko
By Etop Ekanem & Chancel Sunday, BURUTU
The Ebenana-owei of Tuomo Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, HRM Francis Tabai, has appealed to the Urhobo ethnic group and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state to give Ijaw the chance to lead affairs of the state in 2023.
Tabai, who made the appeal, yesterday, noted that it was expedient for both the Urhobo nation and the PDP to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of Ijaw towards the progress and unity of the party and the state over the years.
He said: “It’s a fact that the least developed area in Delta State is the Ijaw territory, which produces the bulk of crude oil but with no infrastructural development, unlike other parts of the state. Politically, the Ijaw man has paid his dues in the unity and progress of the state.
“Now, the Ijaw position to produce the next governor of the state under the ruling PDP in 2023 is a just course and I appeal to our Urhobo brother and the party to holistically consider it same way.
“There’s no doubt about the Urhobo argument and there’s a lot of sense in it. The present political dispensation started in 1999 with James Ibori as governor, then to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan from Delta South and currently, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa from Delta North.
“But the Ijaw position is clear enough to be considered, that the rotation has gone round and we’ve done very well playing the servant role over the years and it’s ideal for Ijaw to lead this time around, which I consider just because despite all the efforts, the Ijaw area is underdeveloped compared to other parts of the state.
“But I’m always very grateful to Ibori for the Bomadi bridge, which is an opener of the Ijaw area, and as far as I’m concerned, Ibori did very well for the Ijaw people. However, Ijaw are due to govern Delta and I appeal to the Urhobo to understand our plight.”
Political control by Ijaw’ll forge integration —Oboko
Meanwhile, President of Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities, FNDIC, Bello Oboko, has said political control by Ijaw of Delta State in 2023 would properly distribute development resources largely derived from their areas, and fast-track reconciliation/integration of the estranged Ijaw people.
Oboko in Warri as the Ijaw of Gbaramatu Kingdom marked the now annual Gbaramatu Freedom Day, said: “The political concession to secure Ijaw loyalty is not too much, as constitutionally advised, to reassure a people who resisted oppression with many paying the supreme price of death for our collective good.
The Gbaramatu Freedom Day, was organised by FNDIC and Gbaramatu Rebirth Initiative, GRI, organizations.
Oboko said they were trusting in God to change the Gbaramatu-Ijaw plight/narrative.
According to him, the Gbaramatu Freedom Day was instituted “to condemn the scourge of slavery and sensitise the authorities to uphold acts of freedom and peace, following the May 13 to 15, 2009, bombardment of the Gbaramatu Ijaw Communities by the military Joint Task Force, JTF .
“The Ijaw were in agitations for equal political space/inclusion, resource control and environmental remediation when we came under heavy fire from the military on premise of protecting US Oil concerns, and ended up killing Ijaw citizens and destroying Gbaramatu Ijaw communities left since 2009 to lick their wounds.”